How did that body wind up hanging in a Boulder tree?

View Larger Map Earlier this week, a Boulder County resident was hiking near the 200 block of Sandy Drive, a Sugarloaf Mountain area captured in the graphic above (if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map"), when he came upon what the Boulder County Sheriff's Office described as "a person hanging in a tree." A dead person, as it turns out -- and the decedent had been there a while "based on the level of decomposition."

What happened? Boulder County Coroner Thomas Faure isn't telling all at this point; his office is still trying to locate next of kin. However, he does reveal that "the cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging. Our guess is suicide." A gruesome discovery in one of the more beautiful parts of the state. Read the release below.

Unattended Death Investigation

Case # 09-5762

On Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at approximately 6:25 pm, Boulder County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the 200 block of Sandy Drive, located in unincorporated Boulder County, on the report of a person hanging in a tree, located south of Sandy Drive in a remote wooded area. A hiker who lived in the area located the decedent.

Upon arrival at the scene, the decedent appeared to have been at that location for an extended period of time, based on the level of decomposition. Members of the Rocky Mountain Rescue group were called to the scene, to assist with a technical evacuation of the body. The identity of the decedent has not been confirmed and pending further investigation. At this time there is no foul play suspected. Sheriff's office detectives and investigators of the Boulder County Coroner's Office are investigating the death jointly.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts