Hunter found dead near Holy Cross Wilderness
EAGLE COUNTY – A man who police believe may have fallen off his horse was found dead near an abandoned mining town Sunday night,. Mike Castillo Jr., 57, of Westminster, died while hunting near Holy Cross City, which borders the Holy Cross Wilderness, police said. Castillo, his son and 13-year-old grandson had rented horses Friday for a weekend hunting and camping trip in the Holy Cross Wilderness, police said. Castillo had been having problems with the horse and had fallen off once before, said Sgt. Greg Daly of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. The family separated around noon Sunday and were supposed to have met Castillo at 6 p.m., but he did not show up at the meeting spot, police said. The family heard a horse baying nearby, Daly said. Eric Castillo, Mike’s 36-year-old son, found his father lying on the ground with no pulse, scratches on his face and a bump on his head, Daly said. About 30 yards away, the horse was found with one stirrup over its saddle, and Castillo’s rifle was found about 10 feet from his body, Daly said. Eric Castillo tried to revive his father through CPR, but was unable to do so. He also tried to move his father’s body because he didn’t want to leave him, Daly said. Eric Castillo then rode his horse until he got to Highway 24, where he got a cell phone signal and called for help around 11:48 p.m., Daly said. Vail Mountain Rescue Group searchers came in on all-terrain vehicles to remove Castillo body.”I commend [the family] for keeping calm, attempting to revive him, and, when they couldn’t, going for help,” said Tim Cochrane, director of operations for the Vail Mountain Rescue Group. “That is the proper sequence.” Police did not find anything suspicious, they said. Eric Castillo’s story was consistent and “he was extremely upset,” Daly said. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of Castillo’s death, said Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis. Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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