Skeletal remains found by hiker near Glenwood Springs matched to Rifle man
Glenwood Springs investigators are looking into a case of human remains found east of town and matched to a Rifle man missing since 2013.
His cause of death remains unknown.
A hiker who had been on Lookout Mountain in March reported finding skeletal remains. The hiker found the bones on land that is part of Glenwood Springs, and personnel from the Garfield County sheriff’s and coroner’s offices responded, retrieving a skull and jawbone from the site, according to a coroner’s office press release sent Wednesday afternoon.
Among the remains were also deteriorated clothing and an ID for Thomas Norberg, a Rifle man who would now be 40.
Norberg’s next of kin reported they had not been in contact with him since 2012, when he was jailed in Garfield County in an assault case.
“Norberg was released in January of 2013 and failed to appear for a court date in February 2013,” Robert Glassmire, Garfield County coroner, wrote in the news release. “There is no record or information regarding Norberg’s whereabouts following his release from the Garfield County Jail in 2013.”
After the remains were found, the sheriff’s office called in NecroSearch International, a nonprofit that assists law enforcement agencies in such cases, to excavate more of the remains and personal items.
Since then, the coroner’s office has been reviewing Norberg’s dental and medical records, and a forensic odontologist matched the remains to Norberg.
“This forensic odontology match provided the coroner’s office with positive scientific identification,” wrote Glassmire.
The skeletal remains are still under examination by a forensic anthropologist, a profession often consulted in such cases, wrote Glassmire.
“A forensic anthropologist can often render an opinion regarding skeletal abnormalities to potentially determine cause of death. At this point there is no information to suggest one cause or manner of death over another,” according to the coroner.
That examination could take several months to complete.
In the meantime, investigators are seeking anyone with information about Norberg’s death or about his whereabouts following his release from jail in January 2013. If you have such information, please contact Coroner’s Office Investigator Treava Guerette at 970-665-6335.