Skeletal remains believed to be that of 48-year-old Seattle man.
By Mark Esper
San Juan County officials are still trying to confirm the identity of skeletal remains found July 15 in the Weminuche Wilderness Area.
And officials aren’t sure how he ended up in such a remote location.
The remains are believed to be that of a 48-year-old Seattle man.
A ranger on horseback discovered a tent off-trail deep in the wilderness in the southeast corner of San Juan County.
San Juan County coroner Keri Metzler said the ranger “saw a tent that didn’t look quite right. It looked like it might have had a snow load on it.”
He discovered what he thought to be human remains inside a sleeping bag.
“The ranger got back Thursday,” Metzler said.
On Friday, a helicopter flew in San Juan County deputy Bruce Conrad and four search-and-rescue team members, Jeff Barr, Clark Damron, Joe Eppler and Kyle Tisdale.
Metzler said there were no signs of foul play.
“It appears pretty natural,” she said.
“He did leave a note,” Metzler said, though she said it was not a suicide note.
Officials suspect he may have tried to set a tree on fire as a signal for help at some point.
Officials also noted that they could not find records of any vehicle abandoned at an adjoining trailhead.
A page from a National Geographic magazine from Oct. 8, 2008 was also found. Metzler said it appears the body had been there since last fall.
The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office reported on Wednesday that they were still trying to locate any relatives of the man while awaiting a confirmation of his ID.
His note read (with misspellings) is as follows:
“My name is (information withheld). I have been without food for 22 days. I’m too week to walk. There is noone in this world to tell that I dide up hear. I am 48 years old. Dob Aug 18 1960.”