HomeNewsColorado Wildfires: 91-Year-Old Grandmother Among Those Missing

Colorado Wildfires: 91-Year-Old Grandmother Among Those Missing

by Jennifer Shea
Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

After initial optimism from authorities that Colorado had safely evacuated all the residents affected by the recent wildfire outside Denver, word has started to leak out of missing persons. And a 91-year-old grandmother is among the missing.

The Marshall Fire struck the home of Grandma Nadine Turnbull in Old Town Superior, Colorado this past week. And according to her grandson-in-law, Hutch Armstrong, his wife’s cousin, who lived with Turnbull, made it out a side door just in time with Turnbull behind her. She tried to go back for Turnbull, but firefighters pulled her away.

“They tried to go out the front door with the neighbor. It was engulfed. Checked the back door it was engulfed,” Armstrong told Colorado’s Channel 9 News. “She says two times she was right behind me, right behind me.”

Colorado Grandmother Mourned as ‘Genuine Person’

While the family does not yet know for sure what happened to Turnbull, they fear the worst, and they have started the mourning process.

“[She was] just a nice person, genuine person, Christian lady,” Armstrong told Channel 9. “My wife went over there, what, the day after Christmas was talking to her and she said she’s doing good. She said, I’m going to live to be a hundred.”

“Just loving caring, always worried about how everybody else was doing,” he added.

Family Confused Over Missing Person Report

But the family is confused after listening to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle’s Friday morning press briefing. They say they have formally reported Turnbull missing, so they were surprised to hear that the one missing person has been accounted for.

“Good news. We still have no reports of casualties or fatalities. The missing person we had last night has been accounted for and is well,” Pelle said at the briefing.

“You hear no deaths. [We] reported her missing. That’s the only one they said one woman reported missing. It just doesn’t make sense,” Armstrong said.

Boulder County’s Jennifer Churchill told Channel 9 that Pelle didn’t have the most current information at that briefing, and several agencies have been fielding and looking into missing person reports, hence the confusion. By Friday night, she said there were two people still missing, with investigators trying to ascertain their whereabouts.

“I do think we have a right to know,” Armstrong said. “If there’s such a woman who was reported missing and then safe. Why can’t I get the information? Is it her? Or, is it not?”

“We’d like to know what’s going on,” Armstrong added.