Family believes remains near Battlement Mesa are missing woman’s
The family of a woman who went missing in 2005 believes it’s likely that remains found Friday east of Battlement Mesa are hers.
“All of us combined feel that it is her. We’re just awaiting the result of the DNA analysis,” said Cory Comiskey, the brother of Mary Comiskey.
She disappeared Dec. 17, 2005, in that same area south of the Colorado River. Her jacket was found days later 20 yards off Garfield County Road 309, according to The Charley Project (http://www.charleyproject.org), which profiles missing person cold cases.
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Department said over the weekend that hikers found human remains a short distance off County Road 309. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is hoping to identify the remains based on DNA.
Comiskey said the Sheriff’s Department asked his parents to view photos of what was found and provide DNA samples.
He said it’s his understanding that search dogs had come within 100 yards of where the remains were found before losing a scent while seeking his sister after her disappearance.
Bill Middleton, investigations commander for the Sheriff’s Department, said it’s premature until the DNA results come back to discuss whether the remains may be those of Mary Comiskey.
“Is there a possibility? I mean, there could be, but I can’t even speculate on that,” he said.
The Sheriff’s Department is hoping to hear from CBI late this week or early next week at the earliest.
Mary Comiskey was 22 and the mother of two children. She and a half-sister had driven to a home on another county road in the area and the half-sister had gone inside, and Comiskey was gone when she returned to the vehicle, according to the Charley Project and a 2010 Denver Post story. Comiskey’s boyfriend, Bill Sonnier, reportedly arrived on the scene 10 minutes later.
Comiskey’s family has indicated she had gotten involved with a drug-using crowd. The Post reported Sonnier had been arrested on drug-related charges.
“Bill has an extensive criminal history,” Middleton said Monday.
Another missing-person case in the Parachute area involves 26-year-old Paul Cunningham Hodgden of Battlement Mesa. He was last seen leaving Shommy’s Restaurant in Parachute on Feb. 19, 2012, after allegedly striking someone with a bottle or piece of glass there.
His mother, Mary Cunningham, believes he is dead, and like the Comiskeys is waiting to hear if the recently found remains can be identified. She has gotten to know the Comiskeys and said it’s hard to wait for an answer that could “bring closure but also the loss of your child.”
Cory Comiskey said his family just wants to know if the remains are those of his sister, and whether they can move on.
“It’s a sad loss for everyone; it hurts,” he said.