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Missouri woman dies near Blue Mesa

Discovered by park officer

by Mark Reaman

What appears to be a tragic accident near the Curecanti dam claimed the life of a 54-year-old Missouri woman on Friday, January 5. Mary Jones of Rogersville, Mo., died after she fell from a small cliff area while apparently taking a late-night walk.

According to Gunnison County sheriff Rick Besecker, Jones was traveling alone and had apparently stopped for the night near this location. “We believe that she went out for a walk late at night and did not realize that there was a cut in the mountain where the Pine Creek Road exists,” he explained. “Evidence indicates she simply walked over the sheer rock embankment. It is extremely tragic.”

The sheriff’s report stated that National Park Service officers and Gunnison County sheriff’s officers investigated the unattended death near the Pine Creek Road near Curecanti Dam.

Besecker said there was contact with Jones’ family and they confirmed that she was traveling alone. He said all the evidence leads to the fact that she was by herself when the incident occurred.

“A U.S. Park Service officer happened on the remains,” Besecker explained. “We have no eye witness account. It appears she was pretty much living in her car while touring the country. We’re not sure where she was destined.”

Besecker added that such an accident is very rare in that area.

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