The Doe Network:
Case File 789UMCO
Unidentified White Male
- The victim was discovered on September 8, 2004 in the Flat Tops, White River National Forest, Garfield County, Colorado
- Estimated Date of Death: No longer than 5 years prior to discovery
- Skeletal remains
- Estimated age: Late 40s to late 50s, but could have been anywhere from 35 to 65.
- Approximate Height : 6'0"
- Distinguishing Characteristics: Forensic examiners say he suffered from severe degeneration in his back and neck and was most likely suffering severe back pain.
- Dentals: Available. The man had extensive dental work, including gold work, crowns, bridges and fillings in almost all his teeth, suggesting the man had money.
- Clothing: A pair of size 9M Timberland brown-and-black hiking boots.
- Possessions: Located was fragments of sleeping cushion, fragments of blue backpack, a yellow-green plastic poncho, parts of a brown sleeping bag, blue hairbrush, two plastic zipper bags, Six $100 bills, one $10 bill, one $5 bill, five $1 bills , green Eureka dome tent, blue-and-black Jansport backpack, green camping pillow, black belt with clinging long underwear fragments, Slumberjack sleeping bag, empty Tylenol bottle, eight multicolored butane lighters, one magnifying glass, one compass, fingernail clippers, bell, spoon, pepper spray, 20 packages of Camel unfiltered cigarettes, Butane stove with two fuel cans, sweetwater water-filtration kit, pocket-sized Battleship game, round red-and-blue canteen, two green plastic military-style canteens, pair of sunglasses, pair of reading glasses, silver Sharper Image binoculars, "4 in 1" Radio Shack game, two drinking cups, aluminum cooking pot, pair of tweezers, package of foam earplugs, package of razor blades, tent repair kit, pair of blue wool socks with duct tape around the toes, roll of duct tape, two National Geographic trail maps of the Flat Tops.
- Other: A pocket-sized, spiral notebook with a green cover with hand-drawn artwork depicting a heart and some figures inside the heart, including what appears to be a cat.
The first page, addressed to "Lib," begins, "I should write in case my situation here doesn't improve. This may be the end of my journey."
"Would like for you to claim the body . . . services or memoreal. Cremation."
The CBI found the next section illegible, although individual words such as "I" and "thought" and "favor" or "flavor" could be made out.
On another page, more text could be discerned, but the CBI analysts said the writer's point is not clear. That sections reads, "Third choice take them up in a glider (I promise not to get sick on you," before becoming illegible. Some common words - "this," "you" and "not" - are identifiable.
On yet another page, the writing apparently goes, "ar on the . . . would you call her...d have it sent...you because I . . . want it to . . . where."
Analysts also interpreted a recovered fragment to read, "be . . . er . . . my . . . s are going."
The victim was located September 8, 2004, by bow hunters in a remote area north of Glenwood Springs.
The site is in the drainage of No Name Creek at about 9,700 feet elevation, about 6 miles as the crow flies from Glenwood Springs, but 12 miles by the Transfer Trail out of town.
The skeleton revealed no cause of death and the sheriff's office has been assuming it probably was natural.
The man was found in a tent at a campsite 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.
The letter leaves open the possibility the man was suicidal, although there is no reason to believe he killed himself. Perhaps he was terminally ill and chose to take his life. The man also could have succumbed to unexpected illness or injury while on an outing in the Flat Tops.
Much about the case is conjecture, including a theory that the man entered the Flat Tops Wilderness at a trailhead on the north and hiked four or five days across elevations of 11,000 feet before setting up his tent on a southern drainage at about 9,700 feet. That theory is supported by two moisture-proof National Geographic trail maps of the Flat Tops with a route drawn across them to the area where the remains were discovered. But it's possible the man picked up the maps someone else had marked and left behind.
If you have any information about this case please contact:
Garfield County sheriffs Office
970-945-1377, Ext. 1025
You may remain anonymous when submitting information.
Agency Case Number:
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Rocky Mountain News
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