Body found next to highway


    Staff Writer

    The body of a woman was discovered in a ditch along U.S. 160 just west of Pagosa Springs early Wednesday afternoon.

    The call was dispatched at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, with several local law enforcement personnel and Archuleta County Coroner Carl Macht sent to the site, located across the highway from Econo Lodge.

    Macht had tentatively identified the female, thought to be 47, Wednesday afternoon, but was unable to release the name before contacting the woman’s next of kin.

    Macht said it appeared the woman had been drinking alcohol and was walking when she, “got really, really cold and fell in the snow and couldn’t get back up.”

    No time of death had been determined Wednesday afternoon, but Macht estimated that the woman died early Wednesday morning.

    Macht said the incident did not appear to be related to a traffic accident, and added that an autopsy will be performed to check for alcohol or other drugs. There were no signs of trauma.

    The resulting investigation diverted traffic from U.S. 160 for several hours, with the highway reopening shortly after 3:30 p.m.

    The Pagosa Fire Protection District, Pagosa Springs Police Department and Colorado State Patrol aided the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation and traffic control.