Hiker finds skeleton that may link to decades old missing person’s case

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. — Officials say that a skeleton found in a partially buried car southwest of Gateway may help them solve a missing persons case that dates back more than 20 years ago.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported that a man was hiking off of John Brown Canyon Road when he came across a human skeleton inside a vehicle that was sitting down the cliff, roughly 100 feet from the roadway.

The man called 911 at about 6 p.m. to report the skeleton that was reportedly in a “very old station wagon” without license plates. The car was partially obscured by rocks and sediment.

The area is Bureau of Land Management property, according to the Sentinel.

Deputies from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department spent Friday morning and afternoon recovering the remains, which were accompanied in the car with several personal items including clothing and credit cards.

“We have a number of pieces of evidence which lead us to believe this relates to a missing person’s case reported to us 20-plus years ago,” Mesa County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Matt Lewis told the Sentinel.

“We have a family that’s been left without answers a very long time and we’d certainly love through our work and that of the coroner’s office to bring some closure to them,” Lewis said.

According to Lewis, the case involved a missing person’s report by a family who lived in Mesa County at the time.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office is working to identify the skeleton and notify next-of-kin.

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