A hiker in Colorado's Rocky Mountains found three dead bodies off a trail that, according to the local sheriff, were "mummified, almost." It appears the bodies, two found in a small zipped-up tent and the other outside the tent in a remote wooded area of Gunnison County, had been there since last winter or fall.
With no visible trauma and their belongings in tact, it's not clear what caused the deaths. "Whether they froze to death in the winter or the combination of starved or froze, that's what it sure seems like," said Sheriff Adam Murdie. "It does not appear there was trauma to the bodies, other than what looked like mummification, almost."
"This is not a typical occurrence anywhere, by any means," he said. The autopsy could take up to three weeks, as the bodies are now rapidly decomposing.
From CBS News:
There were personal belongings and tarps at the scene and a lean-to built from local logs over a firepit, he said. …
[Undersheriff Josh] Ashe told CBS News Colorado investigators "didn't observe anything on-scene that makes us believe that there was crime involved in this," including no weapons or signs of violence.
The areas is completely open to hikers, he said.
The sheriff's department is looking for missing persons reports that might shed light on the situation but hasn't found any yet, he said, adding that the coroner won't release the identities of the deceased until their next of kin have been notified. …
Murdie said it's more common for campers or hunters to die of carbon monoxide poisoning by using heaters in enclosed spaces but that this appears to be different because of how the bodies were found and how remote the camp was.