Chief: Snowmass safe despite lack of rape suspect

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times

Despite the fact that Snowmass Village police were never able to identify a suspect in an alleged rape that occurred this summer, the town’s police chief doesn’t believe the community is in any danger.

“I absolutely don’t think a predator is lurking around Snowmass Village,” Chief Brian Olson said Thursday.

A woman in her early 20s, walking alone along Brush Creek Road near Divide Road between 1:30 a.m. and 2:05 a.m. Aug. 26, told police a man came up behind her on foot and sexually assaulted her, police said at the time. The woman, a Snowmass Village resident at the time, was not physically beaten during the attack.

The woman never provided even a basic description of her attacker and almost immediately stopped talking to police about the incident, Olson said. An investigator tried many times to contact the woman and get her to provide a description of her attacker, but she never did, he said.

Police spoke with numerous people who might have seen something or been involved in the alleged attack and followed many leads, but could never develop a suspect, he said. The woman later left town and returned to the East Coast, Olson said.

Asked if he thought the woman might have made up the attack or known her attacker, Olson said he doesn’t know.

“It is sensitive, or insensitive, to bring it up,” he said.

Snowmass Village police haven’t received any other reports of sexual assault in the town since then, he said.

“We just absolutely had nothing,” Olson said. “This is an example of how difficult a rape investigation can be.”


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