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Body of Dead Man Found On East Lake Creek Unidentified
On Wednesday of last week Sheriff HENRY and a party of assistants went to the McDONALD cabin well toward the head of East Lake creek and secured the remains of the dead man found there. On Thursday the body was brought out to Edwards where Coroner GILPIN investigated the case and decided an inquest was not necessary. Up to that time the body was believed to be that of George NORTON, who has been missing from Red Cliff about a month, but an examination of the remains dispelled this belief and the body was not identified.
The dead man was evidently a foreigner and without doubt died from exposure, having been severely frozen before he found the isolated cabin. No shoes or hat belonging to the man were found. His feet were clothed in four pairs of socks, two white pair and two black pair, home made, and were also swathed in remnants of a flour sack. They were badly frozen and had bled freely. A portion of heavy leather belting was found that had been used by the man to protect his shoeless feet. The ears and fingers were also frozen. The man's underclothing, partly burned, was found in the cabin, but not on the body. He wore a pair of patched corduroy pants, light cotton shirt, blue cardigan jacket, dark coat and vest and black brilliantine. No papers of any description were found on the body. No matches, pocket knife or other effects except a snuff box or tobacco box of foreign make, a knit string used by foreigners in lieu of a belt, and a clasp pocket book but no money were found in the clothing. He wore no suspenders, but an old country leather belt with a clasp fastening. The snuff box was set with half moon or crescent with small shells. The man was five feet 6 1/2 inches in height, broad shouldered and weighted about 145 pounds. Apparently about 23 years of age. The face was covered with a short, fuzzy beard, indicating that the man may never have shaved. Hair light brown and recently cut by amateur barber. Scar on right side of forehead and extending from hair downward.
McDONALD had left wood in the cabin that would last about eight hours. This had been burned but the provisions had not been disturbed. The bed had been disturbed, but the body was found on the floor. The floor had been left littered with shavings by Mr. McDONALD and the clothing of the man was covered with these shavings, showing that the man had rolled upon the floor in agony and delirium.
No one in the neighborhood had ever seen the man. He would not have gone up the creek to where found, as he would not have been frozen by this route. During May there were some terrific storms in the high altitudes, and everything indicates that the man had come over the divide, from Frying Pan river, Cross creek, Holy Cross or Fulford, was caught in a storm and became lost. He likely discarded his shoes from his frozen feet, and he may have had blankets which in his delirium and exhaustion he cast away. The condition of his underclothing, which he apparently had carried in his hand to the cabin, would indicate that he became drenched by the storm and in attempting to dry them by a fire partly burned them. The piece of leather belting would indicate that he had been at some abandoned mill or mining machinery plant somewhere in his wanderings after losing his shoes. That he suffered extreme torture before death finally relieved him is apparent.
Sheriff HENRY believes the man never started on his fateful journey alone - that likely one or more companions were with him and that they have perished on the range. There is some fresh snow and still deep patches of old snow at that altitude. It was fruitless to under take to follow the back track of the man and consequently fruitless to look for possible companions.
The remains were buried at the CUNNINGHAM cemetery at Edwards.(11 June 1908, Eagle County Blade, p.1)
Vail Daily - Headline: Man found dead in Avon home
Summary headline: Police suspect that the 28-year-old man, who has not been identified yet, died because he drank too much.
Byline: staff report
Date: 20 Sep 2000
AVON — A unidentified man was found dead Monday morning at a Sunridge apartment, and police believe he may have drank himself to death. Avon Police Sgt. Alan Wilson would not release the 28-year-old man's name because his family had not yet been contacted.
An autopsy was scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday. Attempts to reach County Coroner Donna Barnes were unsuccessful, but Wilson said investigators have reason to believe the man either died of alcohol poisoning or suffocated because he drank so much he lost the ability to breathe.
Wilson said the man was staying at a friend's house Sunday evening. His friend found him lying on a couch the next day unconscious and not breathing. Next to him was a half-finished bottle of scotch, Wilson said. Witnesses told police they saw the man finish a bottle of rum earlier in the evening and that he was extremely intoxicated when he came to his friend's house.
Police do not suspect that drugs were a factor in the man's death, Wilson said.
The Vail Daily - Headline: Drugs, alcohol caused Avon man's death
Byline: by Tamara Miller
Date: 26 Sep 2000
AVON — A man found dead last Monday in a Sunridge apartment died of respiratory failure caused by mixing drugs and alcohol, according to an autopsy report. Donna Barnes, Eagle County coroner, said Havier Rivera Urbina, 28, died with a blood alcohol level of .121 and tested positive for cocaine, marijuana and opiates, drugs that induce sleep. Barnes said the alcohol level probably wasn't enough to kill Urbina, but the combination of cocaine, opiates and alcohol was enough to stop Urbina's breathing, killing him. Barnes said she did not yet know the amount of drugs Urbina used. According to Avon Police reports, Urbina was staying at a friend's house the night before his death. His friend found him on a couch the next day, unconscious and not breathing. Next to him was a half-finished bottle of scotch, the police report said. Witnesses told police they saw Urbina finish a bottle of rum earlier in the evening, and that he was extremely intoxicated when he came to his friend's house.
Barnes said Urbina had family members in Honduras and California.
The was a large attendance of friends and the family, the members of the local circle of the Women of Woodcraft attending in a body. The floral offerings were many and beautiful. The family have the deepest sympathy of their many friends.(24 September 1908, Eagle County Blade, p.8)Return to Top
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