Buried, abandoned vehicle found near West Fork

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Photo courtesy Mike Le Roux
Mineral County Undersheriff Chris Snell investigates an abandoned car found buried under debris and logs near the West Fork Trail on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass last week. It is believed a piece of equipment was involved in covering up the car. The car’s plates were from New Mexico.

By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer

An abandoned vehicle was discovered buried under debris and logs near the West Fork Trail on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass last week.

The cause is undetermined at this time, according to the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

The call for the vehicle came in on the afternoon of Aug. 13 from a resident of Creede who was in the area and saw the vehicle underneath some debris, Mineral County Sheriff Fred Hosselkus explained in an interview on Tuesday.

“It was almost completely buried except for a portion of one side that you could see,” he said regarding the car buried under debris and logs.

“We’re still thinking that a piece of equipment might have been used, like a Bobcat or a backhoe. There was a lot of stuff dumped on it that didn’t really look like it was done by hand,” he said.

The car was located in an area that was described by Hosselkus as being “like an old gravel pit.”

“There was a bunch of debris, timber, laying there, and according to people on the West Fork, that stuff had been there for years. It was used to cover this car up,” he said.

Upon investigation of the vehicle, Hosselkus noted that the vehicle was “pretty clean.”

“We didn’t get any personal stuff out of it,” he said, adding that the car was plated out of New Mexico and that his office attempted to contact the registered owner of the vehicle via the plates.

As of Tuesday, there have been a couple of calls, but the MCSO is still in the process of reaching out to related parties to find out what happened, Hosselkus added.

There was no evidence of foul play, he noted.

Hosselkus noted that there might not be charges handed out by the MCSO in a case like this, but the U.S. Forest Service could have some penalties.

“I just don’t understand why the owner would take the time to bury it like that. That doesn’t make sense,” he said. “It’s really rocky down there. We didn’t see tracks or anything. There was a lot of big rocks piled around it and stuff. It just seemed like a lot of work to be done by hand.”