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Woman found dead along Mount Cutler trail in Colorado Springs

Last seen on Friday; car at trailhead since Sunday

Authorities Await Autopsy On Mt. Cutler Body


A woman was found dead along the Mount Cutler trail in southwest Colorado Springs on Tuesday morning.

Police responded to the trailhead parking lot around 9 a.m. to check on the welfare of a driver whose car had been parked there since Sunday.

A firefighter found the woman's body a mile up the trail.

"They found an individual who was in a very precarious position down an embankment," said police Lt. Howard Black.  "I really caution all of us on making determinations of what we have.  In talking with the detectives on scene, they feel like this could be an accidental fall but we can't confirm anything until autopsy results are in."

Police hadn't released the woman's name as of Tuesday night and said they're investigating whether she slipped and fell on the trail, or jumped.

Black said her death isn't suspicious and wouldn't confirm if it's a suicide.

According to initial information from officers at the scene, the woman and her husband used to live in Colorado Springs and hiked at Mount Cutler but they recently moved to Denver.  They were reportedly having marital problems, and she told her family on Friday that she needed to get away for a few days.

Authorities closed busy North Cheyenne Cañon Road, which leads to Mount Cutler, between Helen Hunt Falls and the Middle Columbine Trailhead, for most of the day and reopened it around 6 p.m.\

They said they wanted to give recovery crews plenty of space and time to retrieve the body without injury and while dealing with the cold, as well as the snowy and icy terrain.

Two hikers were on the Mount Cutler trail earlier Tuesday and were unaware of the situation.

"It's pretty sobering," said Nicholas Gerber, one of the hikers.  "A little surprising, too, being that this trail is used pretty often.  Kind of a little bit in shock."

More than 30 firefighters, El Paso County Search and Rescue and the Colorado Springs Fire Department's high angle and heavy rescue units responded to the scene.

Police said the woman's son, who lives in Denver, and her husband, who was on a business trip in Seattle, were heading to Colorado Springs.

Authorities said the incident should remind hikers to be prepared when using trails, dress appropriately, have a phone to call for help if needed and tell someone where you're going. 

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