Missing Texas man found dead near Cottonwood Pass

CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — The body of a 44-year-old Texas man was found Saturday night in the Cottonwood Pass area, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said.

Jeffrey Pickering, 44 of Grapevine, Texas, went hiking in the area on Sept. 3, the sheriff’s office said. He was supposed to return to work in Grapevine, Texas, on Sept. 5, but he never showed up.

Pickering’s vehicle was found unoccupied at the Avalanche trailhead where the Colorado Trail intersects Chaffee County Road 306, according to the sheriff’s office.

Several agencies worked from the air to search for Pickering, including the Air National Guard, High Altitude Training Center, REACH Medical Transport and Flight for Life of Colorado, along with air scent dogs from Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado.

Several ground crews are worked to find Pickering.

His body was found in heavy brush near the Avalanche Trailhead. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Chaffee County Coroner’s Office will perform an autopsy. Foul play is not suspected, the sheriff’s office said.