VAIL, Colo. (CBS4) – Construction workers in Vail found skeletal remains in June, and after nearly 90 days the coroner says the mystery dates back more than a century.

Vail has only been a town as long as the interstate and ski resort have been built, just over 50 years. But before that there was a ranch, and that’s helping clear up some of the mystery.

The skeletal remains (credit: Eagle County Coroner)

The skeletal remains (credit: Eagle County Coroner)

It was back on June 26 when a skull was found inside the dirt at a construction site. The project came to a halt and the coroner stepped in to investigate. Seventy percent of a skeleton was found. Only a few days later the coroner knew it was a male.

Other artifacts were dug up at the site, including a bowtie dating back to the turn of the 20th century and hardware believed to be from a casket.

Investigators started looking back at property records for the location and found the original deed for Alford Lazarle’s ranch dating back to 1893. The site where the bones were found matches up with the corner of the old ranch. The only problem is Lazarle never married or had any children.

The site where the bones were found (credit: CBS)

The site where the bones were found (credit: CBS)

The ranch was sold to another family, the Bottolfsons. That led the Eagle County coroner to the Greenwood Cemetery in Red Cliff. But all the Bottolfson family members are accounted for there except one that is known to be buried outside the Vail Valley.

Now the coroner has hit a dead end with no paper trail toward any other known acquaintances of the ranch. The remains could be Lazarle’s or there is a brief mention of a brother Charles.

The remains will be reinterred in Eagle County.


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