Aspen woman’s death an accident, police believe
November 23, 2009
ASPEN – The death of Cheryl Ann Lurie of Aspen – the woman who was found dead outside the Pitkin County Library last week – will be ruled accidental/undetermined, according to police.
Based on information obtained by the coroner and pathologists, evidence that was collected at the scene, and interviews conducted as part of the investigation, Aspen police believe her death was accidental “despite the curious circumstances,” authorities said in a press release issued Monday afternoon.
However, the press release also said police will “still consider all possibilities” as the investigation continues.
On Monday, Aspen police detective Chris Womack and Pitkin County Coroner Scott Thompson attended a second autopsy on Lurie’s body, in Denver, performed by Dr. Michael Dobersen, Arapahoe County coroner. According to Dobersen, the new autopsy report will recommend her death be ruled accidental/undetermined.
The probe into Lurie’s death took a new turn Friday when a sheriff’s investigator found what appeared to be traces of blood on a sprinkler head in the area where Lurie’s body was found Nov. 16. The sprinkler head was taken into evidence and will be later processed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigations laboratory to confirm the type and origin of the residue, police said Monday.
Last week, Thompson ruled that Lurie died of blunt force head trauma. Police were considering the possibility that she had been murdered, or that a hard fall killed her.
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Lurie, 54, was a longtime Aspenite and apparently was walking home on Sunday evening, Nov. 15, when she died. Her body was found the following morning in the plaza adjacent the library and the Pitkin County Courthouse, which houses both the police department and sheriff’s offices.
See Tuesday’s Aspen Times for more on the latest developments in the investigation.