BASALT, Colo. - The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the discovery of a body south of Emma, near Basalt, in unincorporated Pitkin County at about 3 p.m. Friday.
The body was discovered by a local rancher on an all-terrain vehicle, who then notified the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies of the Sheriff’s Office, along with members of Mountain Rescue Aspen, used ATVs to get to the site, arriving at about 5 p.m., and confirmed the person, a female, was dead. The area was secured by deputies, and the body of the deceased was removed by the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office at about 8 p.m.
The area where the body was located is rugged and difficult to access, creating challenges for the investigators. The scene investigation may continue for several days due to the geographic environment, as well as the inclement weather.
An autopsy will be conducted during the weekend to determine the cause of death. Preliminary results are expected soon, but the complete report may take weeks.
The Sheriff’s Office is working with family members of a missing Silt woman to determine if these incidents are related. The area where the body was found is within a few miles from El Jebel, the last confirmed site where the missing Silt woman was spotted, the Aspen Times reported.
Claudia Ruiz, 44, boarded a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus in Glenwood Springs at about 9 a.m. on May 17. Video from a surveillance camera on the bus confirmed she got off the bus at El Jebel that morning, according to her family.
Although the cause and manner of death are still being determined, the Sheriff’s Office said it has no information to suggest that citizens and visitors are in any danger, relative to this case.