Body found at Windy Saddle trailhead on Lookout Mountain identified as Sandra Mercado

GOLDEN, Colo. - The woman whose body was found on Lookout Mountain last Thursday has been identified as Sandra Mercado.

Mercado once lived and worked in Aurora, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

She was also known as Sandra Walker, her maiden name, and Sandra Meza, a previous married name.

Deputies said Mercado had been stabbed. Her body was found Thursday morning by a visitor at the Windy Saddle trailhead parking lot on Lookout Mountain Road. 

Investigators said they identified Mercado through fingerprints.

"She had had previous law enforcement contact out of state," Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mark Techmeyer said.

Investigators spent 24 hours at the scene looking for evidence and marking every cigarette butt, piece of gum or candy wrapper in the parking lot.

"She was a good person," said Rosario Kern, who met Mercado in February when Mercado moved to Aurora. "She had been writing my son in prison, and she came from California because they were planning to get married."

Kern said Mercado lived with her for a few weeks, and that she was trying to have a fresh start.

"My son doesn't know what happened," said Kern. "But he feels responsible because he talked her into coming to Colorado."

This isn’t the first time that a body has been found on Lookout Mountain.

"There is a history of bodies being dumped there," Techmeyer said. "We don’t know if that was the case here or if the murder took place on Lookout Mountain. But there have been numerous cases over the years of murders happening in other locations in metro Denver and the bodies being transported and dumped on Lookout Mountain."

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