Basalt police seek bus rider from night of Daniel Meijia’s death
Basalt police are trying to determine if a bus passenger can help them figure out the actions of Daniel Perez Mejia between the time he got off the same bus in Basalt Sunday morning, May 26, and when he was found dead in an irrigation ditch at about 7:30 Monday morning.
Basalt Police Chief Greg Knott said video from the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s on-bus camera indicates another man got off the bus in Basalt at the same time as Mejia. However, police don’t know if the men were intentionally exiting together, Knott said.
The downvalley-bound bus left Aspen late Saturday evening. Police have talked to acquaintances of Mejia’s who were on the bus. They reported they think Mejia knew the other man that exited at the downvalley bus stop at The Basalt Store, but there are no indications the men were friends, Knott said.
Police have a picture of the other man who got off the bus, and they believe they know his first name, Knott said. They want to talk to him to help fill in the timeline of where Mejia was and when on Sunday and early Monday, May 26 and 27.
Mejia was found in the Williams 2 irrigation ditch in a vacant lot east of Big O Tires in Basalt. The ditch is across Highway 82 and rough one-fifth of a mile from the bus stop.
There are several mysterious circumstances in the Mejia case that are making the department be “cautious” with the investigation, according to Knott. Mejia lived in Carbondale so it’s uncertain why he got off the bus in Basalt after finishing work at a restaurant in Aspen. Mejia was found face up in the ditch. He was partially clothed with belongings piled across West Cody Lane from the ditch.
An autopsy established that there were no visible injuries to Mejia’s body, according to Knott. Investigators are eager to learn the results of a toxicology report due later this month.
When asked if it is possible that Mejia was intoxicated and somehow fell into the ditch and drowned, Knott said every scenario remains open at this point. He urged anyone with information to call the Basalt Police Department at 927-4316.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is assisting Basalt with the case.
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