SUMMIT COUNTY – Inside the Summit Medical Center’s Ten Mile Room, Summit County Sherriff Jamie FitzSimons and Summit County coroners are trying to solve a mystery.
It started in the rugged mountains of the Ten Mile Range between Copper Mountain and Breckenridge in an area called the Sky Chutes.
Last year, hikers found the skeletal remains of a man who in the winter of 2012 brought a backpack full of high-end survival gear and three magazines of ammunition, and then ended his own life with a gun.
“The gear he had leans to survival in bad weather and yet he took his life,” FitzSimons said.
The gun’s serial number was removed and the man didn’t have identification. There wasn’t a car, truck or even a snowmobile nearby.
After a year without leads, investigators turned to Forensic Artist Beth Buchholzt to use the man’s skull to make a 3D rendering out of clay of what he may have looked like.
“The first step is to do a 3D laser scan of the skull and then those are printed into plastic on a 3D printer and the clay is applied,” Buchholzt said.
It’s not a perfect match. The nose, ears and lips might not be exact, but it’s pretty close.
“It’s not going to be an exact portrait of him, but hopefully someone who knew him in life who was friend or family member might recognize him,” Buchholzt said.
Sheriff FitzSimons says identifying the man would finally close a case more than four years in the making.
“Hopefully they can look at this clay rendition and the clothing and try to put it all together and remember something,” said FitzSimons.
If you have any information that might help, you can contact the Summit County Coroner’s Office at 1-970-668-2964, or email the Summit County Sheriff’s Department at Robert.Pearce@SummitCountyCO.gov.