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Man found dead in apartment

Aspen Times Staff Report

A 49-year-old Aspen man, described by one policeman as a “longtime local,” was found dead yesterday in his apartment.

Deputy Coroner Tom Walsh would not release the name of the man, explaining that officials had not located and notified his next of kin. However, sources who asked not to be identified said his name is Gene Hardman.

Hardman, 49, died of “natural causes,” according to police, and apparently had been dead for some time. He was found in his unit at the Smuggler Mountain Apartments, at 414 Park Circle. There was no indication of foul play, authorities said, and Walsh had the body taken to the Farnum Holt Funeral Home in Glenwood Springs for an autopsy.

Police said the death was reported by an unidentified neighbor, alerted by an odor coming from the apartment.

On the door to the apartment were several notices, including a voter registration application form, a notification from a local census taker, and a note from “Chris” that stated he or she had stopped by for a visit and ended, “Call me.”

One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said Hardman had been living in the building for several years and had been around town for longer than that. He had worked in “lots of restaurants around the valley.”

Another acquaintance, who also spoke only on condition of anonymity, said Hardman had worked for a time in the kitchen at Little Annie’s Eating House, which was confirmed by staffers at the restaurant. But he had not worked there for some time, although he was known to frequent the restaurant, employees said.

The neighbor, who did not know Hardman well, said that generally, “He seemed to be a nice guy,” friendly and outgoing. He had a fair-sized group of friends, the neighbor said.


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