The latest findings from the Gunnison County Coroner’s Office reveal the tragic deaths of three family members in the isolated terrains of Colorado. They embarked on an off-the-grid adventure and succumbed to malnutrition and hypothermia.
On July 9, a hiker made the grim discovery of a 14-year-old boy’s body near the Gold Creek Campground. Shockingly, his weight was just 40 pounds – a stark contrast to the CDC’s average of 112 pounds for his age group.
Following this discovery, authorities uncovered a secluded campsite over 100 miles from the family’s original Colorado Springs residence. Here they found the remains of Rebecca Vance, 42, and her sister, Christine Vance, 41. The camp was scattered with empty food containers and survival manuals, yet lacked any fresh food supplies or heating equipment.
Trevala Jara, half-sister to the Vance siblings, shed light on the family’s unconventional decision. The boy, at a mere 13 years old, had chosen to accompany his mother on this venture. Rebecca, perceived by relatives as a recluse with limited outdoor skills, was the driving force behind the move. She had convinced her younger sister, Christine, to join them, despite family concerns.
Having been unaccounted for since the previous October, their last known communications revealed their ill-preparedness for the harsh Colorado winter. Post-mortem examinations suggest they did not survive this period. Each of the deceased was found wearing multiple clothing layers, and all bore a cross pendant.
The severity of the winter they faced, marked by deep snow and freezing temperatures, highlights the extreme conditions they were contending with.