Hiker Discovers Human Remains at Colorado Reservoir, Sparks Investigation

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: David McNew / Staff

Per reports from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, several hikers discovered human remains in La Plata County near Vallecito Reservoir.

After the horrifying discovery, Colorado investigators were deployed to the area on Monday morning to investigate the scene. While authorities have yet to identify the remains, they appear to be from an adult.

According to reports, the La Plata County Coroner will identify the body and notify next of kin. At this time, authorities have not said if foul play is involved. The investigation is currently ongoing. Colorado’s Vallecito Reservoir is a highly-used area for outdoor recreation tourism, located roughly 18 miles northeast of Durango.

According to a news release from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado authorities also recovered the bodies of two men from Dillon Reservoir earlier this month.

Previously, the sheriff’s office began receiving reports of two allegedly intoxicated men driving around a campground near the reservoir on Sept. 8 at around 7:20 p.m. Once authorities arrived at the scene, they found an unoccupied vehicle.

“Deputies initially searched the area for over an hour both in the campground and by boat on the lake but were unable to locate the males,” the release said at the time.

Authorities find two drowned men in Colorado reservoir

Later in the evening, deputies returned to the lake after they found two heaps of clothing and other personal items along the shore. Per officials, the area where they found the clothing is popular for swimming, though it’s also known for being shallow. Later, deputies combed the beach again but could not locate the men.

“Early Friday morning, when there was no indication that the males had returned overnight, an extensive land, air and water search was initiated by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Summit County Water Rescue Team and the Summit County Rescue Group,” a release stated.

Officials said rescue crews also utilized land-based teams, boats, and unmanned drones. At about 1 p.m., officials located the men’s deceased bodies in nearly 15 feet of water. They found the bodies approximately 100 feet from where they left their belongings on the shore.

Later in the month, deputies from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office rescued two women from a sinking car at Cherry Creek Reservoir after the driver accidentally drove off the boat ramp.

On Sept. 10, just before 11 p.m., emergency first responders received a distressed call from the women. At the time, they were trapped inside the sinking car, per officials. Crews from the sheriff’s office later responded to the reservoir.

A video from that night shows the harrowing scene, as two officers dive into the lake after the vehicle. The following day, South Metro Fire Rescue crews pulled the car out of the lake.