Body found on McClure Pass
September 6, 2016
Pitkin and Gunnison county authorities are investigating the case of a body found at the top of McClure Pass on Monday morning.
The deceased male was found at the part of Highway 133 that borders Gunnison and Pitkin counties, the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement issued Tuesday. The Pitkin County Coroner's Office identified the man as 49-year-old Longmont resident Matthew Barz. Deputy Coroner Audra Keith released a statement Tuesday night that Barz's next of kin had been notified. The statement also said that pending further investigation and an autopsy, additional information about the cause of death would be released at a later time.
"The decedent appeared to have been using the area as a short-term campsite," the statement said. "The cause of the decedent's injuries were not immediately known."
A person called Pitkin County authorities at about 7 a.m. Monday to report that an injured person had been seen near the top of McClure Pass. Authorities, after locating the body, determined that he was deceased.
The highway was closed for several hours to allow authorities to investigate. One lane of traffic opened at 3:30 p.m.
"We understand the traffic interruptions created difficulties to holiday travelers on Highway 133, and we appreciate the understanding and patience of the motorists impacted," the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said.
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The Sheriffs' offices were aided by the Pitkin County Coroner's Office, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, United States Forest Service law enforcement, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Department of Transportation and Mountain Rescue Aspen.