BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Authorities are working to identify the remains of a person found by hikers in western Boulder County earlier this week. On Friday the sheriff’s office said a coroner is working to make a formal identification.

The hikers said they found what appeared to be a human skull in the Brainard Lake area on Monday. When authorities caught up with the hikers they tried to lead investigators to the exact spot where the skull was — close to Lefthand Reservoir — but couldn’t find it again. lefthand reservoir remains 5vo frame 926 Colorado Hikers Find Human Skull In Mountains

A more sophisticated search group that included search dogs tried again to the find the skull on Tuesday and were able to locate it along with other remains. They said a photo that the hikers took helped them find the spot.

The search crew then determined that the remains were of a human, although it’s not clear how or when they died.

lefthand reservoir remains 5vo frame 293 Colorado Hikers Find Human Skull In Mountains

(credit: CBS)

The coroner’s office has not yet released the person’s identity but the Longmont Police Department told CBS4 the remains do not belong to missing mom Rita Gutierrez-Garcia.

Gutierrez-Garcia, 34, disappeared after celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with friends.

rita gutierrez garcia 2 Colorado Hikers Find Human Skull In Mountains

Rita Gutierrez-Garcia (credit: CBS)

In July, Longmont police said they believe she is no longer alive and that they have a suspect in the case, 29-year-old Juan Figueroa, but no one has been able to find Rita’s remains.

Related: Drone Pilots Requested In Search For Rita Gutierrez Garcia

Police previously said her remains may be somewhere in Boulder County and that areas of interest include the Peak-to-Peak Highway, Rollins Pass, the area west of Longmont, Rabbit Mountain and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal area.

 

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