By Jesse Sarles

(CBS4) – A 60-year-old woman, Joy Cipoletti, was found dead after going hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado. A search for her near Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in the area of Zapata Falls took place earlier this week.

Joy Cipoletti

(credit: Alamosa County)

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The Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office shared the following message from Cipoletti’s family.

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“It is with the heaviest of hearts that the Cipoletti family says goodbye to our amazing Joy, who we love beyond words. Joy’s strength and love of life impacted everyone who knew her. She played a deeply caring, active role in the lives of her three children, parents, three sisters and four brothers. As an avid hiker and outdoor adventurer, nature was Joy’s happy place. She shared this love of the Colorado outdoors with many people in her life. Our hearts are broken by this sudden loss of our dear Joy.”

Cipoletti’s family shared thanks to the Alamosa Volunteer Search and Rescue and Alamosa County Sheriff’s Department who “dedicated their time and expertise to search for and eventually find Joy.”

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“We can’t begin to show our appreciation and gratitude for how you searched for our Joy with the determination and care that you would show as if she were a member of your family. You are heroes to us and we are forever grateful to each and every one of you,” the family wrote.

Jesse Sarles