UPDATE: Identity of body discovered north of Rifle May 5 released

Cause and manner of death still under investigation

UPDATE: Garfield County authorities have identified the woman whose body was found north of Rifle near Colorado Highway 13 last week as Sunny Morrisette, age 38, of Rifle.

An autopsy performed May 6, the day after the body was found on private property just off the highway, revealed no injuries that contributed to Morrisette’s death, according to a Monday press release from Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire.

“The forensic pathologist will be completing microscopic examination of tissue specimens and waiting for toxicology results before forming an opinion on Ms. Morrisette’s cause of death,” Glassmire said in the release. “The manner of death remains under investigation.”

A forensic pathologist’s report usually take about six to eight weeks to complete, the release also stated. No additional information was provided, and the case remains under investigation.


Original story: Garfield County authorities are conducting an investigation into the discovery of a deceased female just off state Highway 13 north of Rifle May 5.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office was advised at about 2 p.m. that day regarding a deceased body found in a field approximately 75 to 100 yards west of Highway 13, near mile marker 3.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the deceased was a female,” according to a Sheriff’s Office press release issued May 6.

The Garfield County Coroner’s Office was contacted and an autopsy ordered.

“This is an ongoing investigation by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Coroner’s Office,” the release states.

Coroner Robert Glassmire will provide additional information regarding the deceased female once the autopsy has been completed, the identity confirmed and the appropriate notification of next of kin has been made, the release states.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.