Remains a mystery 19 years later

Authorities released an illustration of a woman based on remains found on the Uncompahgre Plateau in 1994.

The Montrose County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI released illustrations of a woman whose identity is a mystery 19 years after her remains were found on the Uncompahgre Plateau.

The woman, believed to be white and age 35 to 45, was 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall, with reddish brown hair and suffered from temporomandibular joint syndrome, scoliosis and a lateral kyphosis of the spine, according to a FBI news release issued Tuesday..

Montrose County sheriff’s investigator Dave Harrison said hikers gathered for a family reunion on July 7, 1994, came across a human skull and mandible in the area of Divide Road and U.S. Forest Service Road 47. Deputies returned to the area and found more remains.

The body was believed to have been there roughly 18 months to a year prior to its discovery, Harrison said.

Deputies recovered a belt which may or may not have belonged to the woman, but the lack of clothing at the scene “kind of indicates the possibility” the body may have been dumped by someone, the investigator said. An autopsy was unable to show cause or manner of death.

The remains were partially covered by tree branches, Harrison said.

“It looked like dead fall,” he said, suggesting bears or mountain lions might have been hiding a food source. “I don’t think we have enough information to say it was an attempt by someone to conceal it.”

The remains had extensive dental work, including caps and fillings.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Montrose dispatch at 970-252-4023.


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