Re: Hunter’s death |

Re: Hunter’s death

Dear Editor:

I appreciate The Aspen Times addressing our health care issues in the valley with both your front page article and your editorial in the June 17 issue. I would like to offer a different perspective, however, on the topic of Hunter’s death.

Just to be clear, the authority and responsibility for ordering a toxicology test on any decedent lies solely with the coroner. I consulted with the sheriff and explained my reasons, which Sheriff Braudis accepted and understood.

Hunter was a longtime friend and patient of mine, and an honorary deputy coroner as well. I knew his medical conditions and health status very well. I spoke to him only 48 hours prior to his death. He had no acute health status change or medication change that would have affected the decision he made. A drug test would have been fodder for the international press and would have told me nothing about the cause and manner of the death of Hunter. Even though self-inflicted gunshot wound victims rarely need an autopsy, a limited autopsy was performed on Hunter to clarify the details of the gunshot wound.

Again, I appreciate the Times addressing these issues and invite feedback, which can be mailed to me at: P.O. Box 12278; Aspen, CO 81612.

Dr. Steve Ayers

Pitkin County coroner

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User