CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Sol Pais is dead of apparent suicide. The manhunt ended Wednesday morning for the 18-year-old Florida woman who flew from her home state to Colorado this week then bought a gun and made credible threats against schools.
“She appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips. “It appears she took her own life.”
Phillips also said she used the weapon she bought.
The FBI is now working extensively to try to determine whether the woman who was obsessed with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting acted alone in making the threats. Those threats led to the closure of the majority of schools in the Denver metro area on Wednesday.
“She had some online social media, that obviously we are following up on to make sure she had no accomplices,” Phillips said.
Pais’s body was found in Clear Creek County Wednesday morning half a mile away from Echo Lake Lodge up Mount Evans Road, near where the road is currently closed for the season. A woman who was hiking in the area in the Arapaho National Forest told CBS4 she was told to leave the area in the morning because “a naked woman matching the description with a gun was spotted in the area running through the woods.”
Law enforcement sources believe that after landing in Denver and purchasing the pump-action shotgun at a Jefferson County gun store, Pais took an Uber to the mountains.
“We don’t know why that was the location for her choosing. The driver did help us pinpoint the last known location,” Phillips said in a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
The FBI says Miami authorities relayed concerns about Pais’s “very unusual” behavior to them.
“She purchased three one-way tickets in successive days, on the 15th, 16th and 17th and she flew out on the 15th, the very first day,” said Phillips. “She went directly to the store to procure the weapon. I want to say it was early in the day. There were concerns about her from the Miami locale when she wasn’t around. Those folks had conversations with the local police departments there, the local police department then notified the FBI yesterday morning in Miami and Miami notified us yesterday.”
The FBI is still being somewhat tight-lipped about what it was that Pais said that caused such concern and led to lockouts at Columbine High School and other schools Tuesday afternoon then full closures of a much wider batch of schools on Wednesday. When asked about whether she had some sort of online journal, Pais said he wouldn’t comment.
“We’ve been combing all manner of her social media and obtaining … comments, statements, things that would lend credence to the fact that she was a potential concern,” he said.
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CBS News reported that a website apparently belonging to Pais is filled with references to depression, isolation, suicide and guns.
“It was really a combination of her actions and comments. She made several comments to folks that we obtained through interviews. Comments that were troubling with regard to her infatuation with Columbine, the recognition of the Columbine anniversary,” said Phillips.
This weekend marks 20 years since the mass shooting in Jefferson County. Jefferson County School Superintendent Jason Glass said he expects school operations to return to normal on Thursday and also events surrounding the anniversary of the Columbine shooting to go on as planned.
“I’m deeply grateful for the support of the Denver metro area superintendents and other state leaders. While Jeffco was the epicenter of this threat, it extended across the whole metro area and affected us all,” Jefferson County School Superintendent Jason Glass said.
All schools closed for the threat on Wednesday will be reopened on Thursday, including Denver Public Schools, Jeffco Public Schools, Boulder Valley School District and Douglas County Schools.