Update: Yesterday, we shared with you the strange story of Christina Furber, whose online portrait as a sufferer from hypermobility disorder contrasted sharply with reports that she'd fired shots at a police officer before being found dead; see our previous coverage below.
Now, more details are emerging about the circumstances of her death. She was found in the trunk of a car by a Pueblo homeowner -- and authorities have not yet determined if she took her own life.
The additional information comes courtesy of the Pueblo Chieftain, which reports that a Pueblo police officer subsequently identified as Sergeant Shelly Taylor was heading home on Monday evening when she spotted Furber driving in a manner that suggested she might be intoxicated.
Taylor, who was off-duty but still wearing her uniform, followed Furber to a home in Pueblo West where her family lives. There, the two of them are said to have engaged in a conversation, presumably eliminating the possibility that Furber didn't realize the person who'd tailed her was a cop. Then, police say, a struggle ensued during which Furber removed a gun from her purse and fired it several times in Taylor's direction.
In response, Taylor returned fire, but Furber doesn't appear to have been hit. She fled the scene and disappeared into the night, prompting a lengthy manhunt, reverse 911 calls and delayed starts for nearby schools.
The break in the case arrived at around 7 a.m. yesterday morning, when authorities received a phone call from the resident of a home located on the 1000 block of Shenandoah Drive. The area is seen in the following interactive graphic; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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The Chieftain reports that the home's owner had heard a noise the night before but hadn't thought much about it until he headed to his garage with the intention of putting some tools in his trunk prior to work. That's when he discovered Furber's body inside. She was dead from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Furber had apparently gained entrance to the garage via a dog door -- and the car hadn't been locked.
This scenario suggests that Furber's injury was self-inflicted, but the autopsy results haven't been made public at this writing.
Continue to see our previous coverage, including more photos. Original post, 10:58 a.m. September 9: To put it mildly. there's a major disconnect between the Christina Furber who was raising money online for treatment of hypermobility disorder and the one who was found dead earlier this morning following a manhunt prompted by an alleged attack on a police officer. We've got the still emerging details below.
"Christina Furber's Hope for Hypermobility," a page on the GiveForward.com site, features photos like the two above and the following text:
Please join me in supporting this cause, not just for me, but for an illness that effects many, yet to have a cure.
The picture you see above was before the symptoms have taken their toll. My name is Christina and I have an auto- immune disorder that is systemic (effects the entire body) It turns my immune system against me and attacks all of my soft tissue by mistake. Ehlers-Danlos hypermobility is the closest my Doctors and Specialists have come to diagnose me. Before I played classical and jazz piano and was very active living the Colorado lifestyle. Now every step is one of courage, strength, and faith. There is no official cure as of today.... The world now has more awareness and are beginning to understand how to treat the symptoms and hopefully find a cure soon. St. John and St. Elizabeth hospital in the UK have the only "Hylermobility Unit" of its kind in the world. My dream is to go there and see how they can help me have a better quality of life. They have appointments as soon as the end of October 2014. My body, heart, and mind are ready to tackle this thing head on with the help of gracious strangers who have a place in their heart to help one another. Right now it feels like my leg muscles are burning with every step. The fatigue along with the severe pain make even the smallest things a challenge. My joints are degrading and I have now had 7 operations in attempt to correct my hands with many more to come. Hopefully this journey will lead not only to improvement in my situations but also to help in the efforts to find a cure. This illness is not easily seen from the outside but is a struggle every day.
There's no date or time stamp on the page, so it's unclear when it was created. But as of this writing, no donations had been made toward a goal of $15,000.
Meanwhile, Furber suddenly became the focus of a search by assorted law enforcement agencies in Pueblo, including the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, which shared the following photo:
Why? At 9:49 p.m. on Monday, September 8, according to a PCSO release, a Pueblo police officer who'd just gotten off duty and was en route to her home spotted a vehicle whose operator was "driving erratically." She followed the car to an address at 1033 Wild Wind Place while trying and failing to reach the sheriff's office (she apparently wasn't on the correct channel) and subsequently contacted the female driver: Furber.
As the officer, still in her uniform, was attempting to identify the driver, the release maintains that "a struggle ensued" and Furber allegedly "pulled a large caliber revolver from her purse and fired at the officer." She missed, as did the officer when she shot back. Meanwhile, Furber fled south of the residence in the direction of an open field, and additional deputies, a K-9 unit and what are referred to as "tactical team members" (SWAT?) weren't able to immediately track her down, necessitating reverse 911 calls to people in the area and delayed starts at nearby schools this morning.
Earlier today, KRDO-TV reported that authorities had "located" and "contained" Furber -- odd phrasing explained by an update revealing that she had been found dead in the garage of a home in the Pueblo West area.
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Cause of death: a gunshot wound.
Thus far, it's uncertain who fired the fatal shot. But what's clear is the strange and tragic nature of the incident's conclusion.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.