Woman found dead at campsite identified
Vail, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY ” The death of a local transient at a remote campsite who was found the morning after she apparently stabbed her boyfriend in the thigh is being investigated by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Police found the body of Johanna Briscoe, 29, in her tent about a quarter-mile from the a trailhead off Baldy Mountain Road near Breckenridge on Saturday morning.
It does not appear as though foul play was involved in Briscoe’s death, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Paulette Horr said.
Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson said on Monday that it appeared Briscoe’s death was alcohol related, but that the final autopsy report is waiting for results from a toxicology test, which could take up to a week.
According to a press release from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, a hiker found Briscoe’s semi-conscious boyfriend lying near the trailhead on Saturday morning. He told the hiker he’d been stabbed and his girlfriend had died at their campsite.
Police are not releasing the boyfriend’s name because the incident stemmed from a domestic dispute, Horr said.
He was incoherent and disoriented and couldn’t tell police the exact location of the campsite.
Summit County Ambulance transported the man to St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center, where he was transferred to Denver for treatment of his injuries. Search and Rescue volunteers, Breckenridge Police Department officers and Summit County deputies immediately began searching the area for the campsite.
It took them several hours to find the campsite because it was located in a densely wooded area on the mountain.
Upon entering the tent, they found Briscoe. There were no visible signs of trauma to her body, the release said.
Richardson said Monday’s autopsy didn’t further reveal any signs of a struggle or defensive wounds on Briscoe’s body.
Investigators interviewed Briscoe’s boyfriend when he returned to Summit County late Saturday evening after his release from the hospital in Denver.
As a result of the interview process, evidence collected at the campsite and blood found on Briscoe’s hands, investigators concluded that Briscoe stabbed the man during a domestic dispute on Friday evening.
Briscoe bandaged the wound and then her boyfriend fell asleep. When he woke up on Saturday morning, he discovered Briscoe was dead and tried to hike out to get help.
No charges have been filed, although the case will not be closed until the autopsy report is complete, Horr said.
Horr said this was not the first domestic dispute deputies had responded to involving the couple.
Briscoe, who was originally from Oklahoma, had been living in the area for about five years, working odd jobs and camping, Richardson said.