Police: Body found near Aspen likely that of missing Snowmass man | AspenTimes.com

Police: Body found near Aspen likely that of missing Snowmass man

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Rustin Gudim/The Aspen TimesThe lights of police cars flash near the Maroon Creek bridge on Monday. A body, apparently that of George Aldrich, was found below the bridge.

ASPEN – A body discovered Monday under the Maroon Creek Bridge on the outskirts of Aspen may be that of missing Snowmass Village resident George Aldrich.

Off-duty members of Mountain Rescue Aspen found the body around midafternoon in an area that had been previously searched, according to Aspen police. While positive identification had yet to be made, circumstantial evidence suggested it is Aldrich’s body. His family was notified of the discovery, police said.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation would likely conduct an overnight investigation in the area where the body was found, Assistant Aspen Police Chief Bill Linn said Monday evening. He said he did not know the body’s exact location.

Aldrich’s family could not be immediately reached Monday, but a statement was posted on http://www.findgaldrich.com at about 7 p.m.

“It is with great sadness to report a male body was located under the Maroon [Creek] Bridge on the outskirts of Aspen, Colorado. The family is devastated by the news and is awaiting confirmation through DNA analysis. Aspen PD have reason to believe that the body located is George; however, we are all waiting for the DNA results. Our prayers [are with] George’s family, friends and all who love him during this extremely difficult time,” the statement reads.

A press conference is planned for 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Aspen Golf Club parking lot.

Aldrich, 28, was reported missing on Nov. 29, when he failed to show up for work as a lift operator for the Aspen Skiing Co. He had been out with friends in Aspen on Saturday night, Nov. 27, before boarding a bus at the Rubey Park station.

Public transit video shows him boarding the bus and getting off at Truscott Place on Highway 82, just outside of town. A conversation with another passenger suggests he mistakenly exited the bus at the wrong locale – well before the Brush Creek lot, where he would have needed to transfer to a bus to Snowmass Village.

Authorities weren’t sure whether he attempted to walk, hitchhike or catch another bus to his destination. But his disappearance triggered a two-week hunt between Aspen and Snowmass Village, on foot and by air, as well as down the Highway 82 corridor almost to Carbondale. Police called off the field search Friday, after finding no sign of Aldrich.

On Sunday, his family raised the reward for information leading to his discovery from $5,000 to $25,000. His father, two brothers and a family friend were expected to fly back to the Northeast on Monday. Police said that while the family had been notified, it was not known whether they planned to return to Aspen.

The Maroon Creek bridge is near the Truscott Place bus stop. It carries Highway 82 over the deep gorge cut by the creek.

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