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August 1, 2017

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Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Human skeletal remains discovered east of Gross Reservoir

A fisherman discovered the remains late Saturday afternoon near South Boulder Creek east of Gross Reservoir in Walker Ranch

Boulder County, Colo. - On Saturday afternoon, July 29, a fisherman contacted the sheriff's office when he discovered what he believed to be human skeletal remains near South Boulder Creek, just east of Gross Reservoir. The fisherman had been bushwhacking along the creek in the Walker Ranch Open Space as he traveled east from Fisherman's Point, when he happened upon the remains. Due to both the weather and late hour of the day on Saturday, an investigative and recovery effort wasn't launched until Sunday.

On Sunday, the fisherman led sheriff's investigators back to the area where the remains were located. Investigators from the sheriff's office and the Boulder County Coroner's Office, along with the assistance from Front Range Rescue Dogs, began their investigation. During a search of the surrounding area additional remains were located; it is believed the dispersed remains had been moved by wildlife. Sheriff's investigators continued their scene investigation and interview of witnesses into Monday, and continue to work in conjunction with the coroner's office to determine the identify of the decedent and the circumstances surrounding their death.

The coroner's office is statutorily charged with determining the identity of the decedent, as well as determine the cause and manner of death. Once a definitive identity of the remains has been made, it will be released by the coroner's office.

The sheriff's office has one open 'missing persons' case that involves the general area of Walker Ranch where the skeletal remains were located. Ryder Johnson, then 20, was reported missing in January 2016, and his car was subsequently located, abandoned, in the 5800 block of Gross Dam Road. Multiple searches of the Gross Reservoir and Walker Ranch areas were undertaken at the time, all of which were unsuccessful in locating Johnson or any additional information or evidence related to his disappearance. It has not yet been determined if the skeletal remains are related to the Ryder Johnson missing person investigation or not (case number 16-328).

This investigation into the human remains is documented under sheriff's case number 17-4429.

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/s/ Cmdr. Mike Wagner
Public Information Officer