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July 7, 2018

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Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

31-year-old Denver man dies after fall at the base of Navajo Peak

The man and his girlfriend had been on a day hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area when he slipped, fell, and sustained massive trauma

Boulder County, Colo. - This afternoon around 1:30 p.m., the Sheriff's Communications Center received a 911 call from the camp host at the Pawnee Campground in the Brainard Lake Recreational Area about a report she had received about a man who had fallen near Navajo Peak. The man was reported to have died from injuries sustained in the fall.

Deputies and medical personnel responded and learned that a 31-year-old Denver man had been on a day hike with his girlfriend. The pair hiked to the base of Navajo Peak from Brainard Lake, and the man was climbing a boulder when he slipped and fell. According to the man's girlfriend, she believes he fell 20 to 30 feet, hitting his head several times during the fall. The man landed in a rocky crevasse.

The man's girlfriend, a medical doctor, climbed down to him and found that he had no pulse. The man sustained significant trauma during the fall and could not be resuscitated. The man's girlfriend did not have cell phone service and had to make the approximately five-mile hike back to Brainard Lake to call for help. The hike between Brainard Lake and the base of Navajo Peak typically takes between one-and-a-half to two hours.

Sheriff's investigators, along with medical investigators from the Boulder County Coroner's Office, in consultation with rescue personnel from the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, determined that it was unsafe to try and recover the man's body due to the weather and late hour of the day. Rescue personnel are planning to try and recover the man's body tomorrow morning. Recovery of the man's body is expected to be a protracted and technical effort.

The man's girlfriend has been cooperative in the investigation, and no foul play is suspected.

The coroner's office is responsible to determine the cause and manner of the man's death, as well as to publicly identify him once his identity has been confirmed and his family has been notified.

The case number associated with this incident is 18-3940.

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/s/ Cmdr. Mike Wagner
Public Information Officer