Coroner: Woman obsessed with Columbine died before warnings, manhunt

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Florida teenager who was obsessed with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting died as a result of suicide before law enforcement officials learned she had come to Colorado and started a massive manhunt for her, the Clear Creek Coroner’s Office said Wednesday.

The 18-year-old was found in a wooded area off the Rest House Trail near the Echo Lake Campground at the base of Mount Evans about 45 miles west of Denver on April 17.

An autopsy found the woman, who was last seen alive in the early afternoon of April 15, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No other injuries or marks were present, the coroner’s office said.

Her death was estimated to have occurred in the afternoon or early evening of April 15.

That was one day before the FBI said it learned the woman had arrived in Colorado and purchased a shotgun and ammunition.

A gun shop owner said the woman bought the gun at his shop less than two miles from Columbine High School on April 15.

He said she passed background checks and was cleared by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Law enforcement deemed her a “credible threat” to schools across the Denver metro area.

Columbine and other schools immediately tightened security and were placed on lockout on the afternoon of April 16, and most metro-area schools closed on April 17 amid the threat and manhunt.

After purchasing the gun and ammunition, the FBI said the teen took a ride share to the base Mount Evans, and the driver helped authorities pinpoint her last known location.

The woman’s body was found about 9:30 a.m. on April 17.

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