Body recovered from Roaring Fork River, downstream from Devil’s Punchbowl |

Body recovered from Roaring Fork River, downstream from Devil’s Punchbowl

An Aspen Fire Department swift water rescue team recovered a body from the Roaring Fork River Thursday, downstream from the Devil’s Punchbowl area up Independence Pass.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office sent out a press release around 9:15 p.m. stating that it learned of a possible deceased person in the river “somewhere up Independence Pass” just before 1 p.m. Deputy Tiffani Delaney said the location was in the river downstream from the Punchbowl, near the Weller Trailhead parking lot.

“It was a hiker that contacted us,” Delaney said.

Between 5 and 10 swift water recovery members from the Aspen Fire Department responded and recovered the body, she said. The press release states that the recovery team was out of the field by 8 p.m., more than seven hours after the call initially came in.

“The river is still really high, and we wanted to use every precaution to keep our rescue personnel safe,” Delaney said. “It definitely did take more than a couple of hours. Due to the fact the river was high, we wanted to go slowly.”

When asked whether the body recovered could be Will Graham, a 31-year-old Aspen resident who went missing last month after presumably jumping into the Punchbowl, Delaney wouldn’t confirm or deny that possibility.

“I can’t say yes or no, but that is being explored,” she said. “That’s definitely being explored. The autopsy will give us more identifying information.”

Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said around 9:30 p.m., less than two hours after the recovery mission ended, that all he knows is that a body was recovered Thursday afternoon from the river. He said he wasn’t yet aware if the person was male or female.

Delaney and DiSalvo both said there’s no estimate at this time on how long it will take to identify the body.

The Coroner’s Office will conduct an autopsy. The exact manner and cause of death is still pending, according to the news release.

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.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User