Summit County sheriff seeks public’s help with human skull found between Breckenridge and Copper Mountain
August 25, 2017
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has been working a cold case for more than a year and will soon be asking for the public’s help identifying skeletal remains found in the backcountry last July.
The bones, discovered on U.S. Forest Service land between Copper Mountain and Breckenridge Ski Resort, were believed to have been there since 2012, according to a joint news advisory from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office.
Officials from both agencies will be holding a press briefing on Monday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. to provide further details and present a three-dimensional artist’s reconstruction of what the dead man “may have looked like just prior to his death,” along with photographs of items discovered near his remains, the advisory said.
It was unclear from the release whether or not officials suspect foul play. A data spreadsheet from the coroner’s office notes that an “unidentified skull” was found on July 10, 2016, with a gunshot wound to the head.
Summit County Coroner Regan Wood said in an email that she would not be releasing any additional information until Monday’s briefing. She did not respond to a follow-up email regarding the unidentified skull listed in the data.
Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons could not immediately be reached on Thursday afternoon.
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Both Wood and FitzSimons are slated to speak at the press briefing, along with chief deputy coroner Wendy Kipple, sheriff’s office special operations sergeant Mark Watson and forensic anthropologist Beth Buchholtz, according to the advisory.
Last July’s discovery was the second time in less than a year that human remains were found in the mountains of Summit County.
In August 2015, a skull found near the top of Peak 1 was identified as that of 27-year-old Jack McAtee, a Breckenridge man who had gone missing the year before. The cause and manner of his death were never determined.