Bones found at Officer’s Gulch ID’d
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY – More than 20 human bones discovered last week on the south side of Officer’s Gulch have been identified as belonging to Anthony Kleczka of Aurora.
Kleczka was reported missing in October 2001, when he was 21 years old.
The remains – which included a jaw bone and weathered backpack with photo identification – were found near the Ten Mile Creek recpath at an elevation of about 10,300 feet, half a mile west of eastbound Interstate 70, according to a press release from Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson.
The cause of death is listed as undetermined.
Summit County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Paulette Horr said Kleczka “probably slid down about 75 feet” while hiking up a rock face.
According to Richardson’s office, it is unusual to find ID near human remains bones, and it served as a fortunate starting point.
“More often than not, when human bones are found, it is virtually impossible to identify them,” according to the press release.
A pair of weathered khaki pants containing ID matching that found in the backpack further contributed to circumstantial evidence.
Dental records confirmed identification of Kleczka’s body Tuesday afternoon.
Two hikers discovered the remains the afternoon of June 18 and contacted authorities, who discovered more bones up a steep incline, “which were consistent with predatory activity,” according to the press release.
In an unrelated incident, an intact skeleton in a coffin estimated to be from the mid- to late-1800s was discovered in a Breckenridge subdivision on Monday, according to the press release.
“It is believed the bones are of a young adult. However, the sciatic notch (right hip bone) appears to be male but the skull has both male and female characteristics that may indicate Asian origin,” according to the press release.
An anthropologist is to be consulted, and the bones are to be reburied in Valley Brook Cemetery.
Square iron nails and two white, possibly ceramic buttons were found, though no clothing was recovered from the wooden coffin.
In late April, excavators discovered human bones at the same address. The area had apparently been a burial site many years before the 10-year-old subdivision was constructed.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area today for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.