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Sheriff’s Office looks for clues in Aspen skier case

ASPEN – In the arena of public safety, it’s simply referred to as “ROW,” or rest of the world. In the case of missing skier Jeff Walker, rest of the world applies to anywhere outside Aspen Highlands, which is where the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office comes in.

Sheriff’s investigator Brad Gibson was busy Tuesday collecting any possible clues that could lead to Walker’s whereabouts. While Aspen Skiing Co. officials continued to comb Highlands, where Walker was believed to have been last, Gibson and other deputies were trying to learn more about the 55-year-old wine salesman.

So far, the Sheriff’s Office has gathered Walker’s computer and passport from his Hunter Creek condo in Aspen.

“We are looking at everything,” Undersheriff Ron Ryan said. “Any time we have a missing person, we never rule anything out.”

Gibson also is in the process of developing a profile of Walker just to see if there might have been a possible motive for him to take flight without notifying anybody. That includes checking to see if Walker had a tainted background or financial issues. On Tuesday afternoon, Gibson was filing paperwork with the court – called an “order to produce” – to have one of Walker’s financial institutions provide data on him.

The Sheriff’s Office also searched Walker’s Hyundai, parked at his residence, to find any clues. Gibson said friends and relatives said Walker typically left his keys under the driver’s-seat mat. But the keys have yet to be found.

Gibson described Walker as “a creature of habit” who skied Highland Bowl daily.

“He skied it every day and skied the same lines within the Ozone,” Gibson said.

Officials believe Walker took a public bus to Highlands from an undetermined Aspen location. He left his phone and wallet in a locker in Aspen near Gondola Plaza, and his ski pass was scanned at 12:04 p.m. Thursday at the Exhibition lift at Highlands. That’s the last official sign of Walker’s whereabouts.

Now they’re trying to determine if Walker deviated from any of his habits that day. Did he always take the bus to ski? Did he always leave his cellphone and wallet behind when he skied? Those are questions the Sheriff’s Office is trying to answer but won’t use to make any conclusions.

“We’re told he is very set in his ways, and there are a few things that seem to be out of his normal routine of actions, based on observations of people we have talked to,” Ryan said. “Right now, it’s just a process of deductive reasoning.”

rcarroll@aspentimes.com


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