Notebook found with remains deciphered
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Investigators hope a possible goodbye note written to someone named “Lib” might help shed light about the identity of a man found dead a year and a half ago in the Flat Tops.
Garfield County sheriff investigators on Wednesday released new information related to the case of a man whose skeletal remains were found Sept. 8, 2004, by bow hunters in a remote area north of Glenwood Springs.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation recently was able to recover text from a deteriorated notebook found with the remains. Investigators hope going public with the notebook findings and other evidence from the investigation might cause someone to come forward with a new lead in the case.
A letter in a recovered page in the notebook starts out with “Dear Lib,” possibly a nickname.
“I should write in case my situation doesn’t improve. This may be the end of my journey,” the note continues.
While increasingly difficult to read, it apparently goes on to ask someone to claim the man’s body, and then makes a reference to services and cremation, said sheriff’s detective Don Breier.
The pocket-sized, spiral notebook has a green cover with hand-drawn artwork depicting a heart and some figures inside the heart, including what appears to be a cat, Breier said.
The skeleton revealed no cause of death and the sheriff’s office has been assuming it probably was natural.
Forensic examiners say he suffered some discomfort from degeneration in his back and neck. He was a white male, about 6 feet tall, and probably in his late 40s to late 50s, but could have been anywhere from 35 to 65.
The man was found in a tent in a wooded, remote location. His trousers had rotted away, but the date of currency found at his campsite indicates he apparently had been there no longer than five years.
Among other evidence found there were a map of the Flat Tops, numerous packs of Camel cigarettes, a lighter, whistle, bell and some pepper spray.
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario hopes the new information might lead to a break in the case. “Now that we have the notebook, now that we have a few more clues in terms of the skeletal remains, maybe something will spark somebody’s interest,” he said.
Breier said the notebook’s drawing might have special meaning that a friend or relative would know about, or the handwriting might be recognizable to someone.
Authorities received lots of calls and leads early on about the possible identity of the man, but only ended up resolving some other missing person cases instead.
“We found a couple of people out of this case but they had nothing to do with this case,” Breier said.
In one instance, a man from the East had vanished without contacting his family, who said he had traveled through western Colorado. Garfield investigators were able to locate him where he was living just a few miles from his family.
In another instance, someone from Denver was trying to track down her missing brother. Breier learned he was still alive.
“I ended up getting a location and a recent contact information from a local police department over in Denver,” he said.