Woman found near Camp Hale may have been murdered | VailDaily.com

Woman found near Camp Hale may have been murdered

Matt Zalaznick
Special to the Daily/Austin RichardsonPolice believe a woman found lying dead behind a pickup truck 150 yards down this dirt road near Camp Hale may have been murdered. Commuters driving between Vail and Leadville Monday night found her body. Authorities have not identified the woman, who appeared to be in her 50s.

The woman’s identity was not known and authorities will not officially rule whether she was murdered until her body is examined this morning by a pathologist, said Detective Doug Winters of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

She appeared to be in her 50s, Winters said.

“We’re treating this as suspicious,” Winters said. “It will be treated as a homicide until we determine otherwise.”

The woman appears to have at least one gunshot wound, but Winters would not say where on her body she may have been shot.

Her body was discovered Monday night around 7 p.m. by commuters traveling between the Vail area and Leadville. The woman was found lying behind a green pickup truck, which was parked 150 yards down a dirt road just north of an area locally known as “Pando Junction,” just north of Camp Hale where the railroad tracks cross under U.S. Highway 24 between Red Cliff and Leadville.

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“She does have injuries and the pathologist needs to take a look at her,” Winters said. “We’re still investigating many, many leads.”

The woman did not appear to have been dead for long, Winters said.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene and cordoned off the area shortly after the commuters called to report finding the woman’s body, Winters said.

Several sheriff’s deputies along with a team of investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation continue to scour the remote area for clues Tuesday afternoon.

If the woman’s death is rule a homicide, it will be the first in Eagle County since Feb. 10, 2001, when Timothy “Chico” Destromp, of El Jebel, was beaten to death in his home during a night of heavy drinking.

Police arrested a drinking buddy, who immediately admitted to killing Destromp but has since retracted his confession and has been released on bail to await trial on a second-degree murder charge in Eagle County District Court in July.

Matt Zalaznick covers public safety, Eagle County Courts and Avon/ Beaver Creek. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 606 or via e-mail at mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.

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