Body of missing Battlement Mesa man found less than two miles away from where he resided, coroner confirmed on Thursday |

Body of missing Battlement Mesa man found less than two miles away from where he resided, coroner confirmed on Thursday

Battlement Mesa man Filmer Lopez smiles.
Submitted/Maria Loya

The body of a missing Battlement Mesa man last seen walking away from a local gas station nearly three weeks ago was discovered less than two miles away from where he resided, the Garfield County Coroner’s Office confirmed on Thursday morning.

Filmer N. Lopez, 69, was a resident at the Mesa Vista Assisted Living Center when he walked to the Kum & Go gas station on Aug. 13. He suffered from dementia and was last seen there at 2 p.m.

He was found deceased at 7:23 p.m. on Tuesday. Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire said in a Thursday news release that Lopez’ body was discovered one mile east of Battlement Mesa.

“Filmer Lopez went missing on August 13th in the Battlement Mesa area and was the subject of several statewide media stories alerting the public to be on the lookout for his whereabouts,” Glassmire said in the release. “Mr. Lopez was found approximately 1.25 miles from the assisted-living facility where he resided.”

An autopsy performed on Lopez revealed no injuries contributing to his death.

“Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office Investigators suspect that Mr. Lopez, who was reported to have dementia, was likely lost and disoriented when he suffered a medical event,” Glassmire said in the release. “It is likely that Mr. Lopez died on Aug. 13 or 14.  The coroner’s office is investigating the manner of death as natural.”

Rifle resident Maria Loya, Lopez’ sister, released a statement in response to her brother’s discovery Wednesday afternoon.

“The family would like to thank everyone for their support through this difficult time,” the statement reads. “They are ever so grateful for the volunteers that came out to search for Filmer during his disappearance and appreciate all the prayers that were offered to them.”

Ever since her brother’s disappearance, Loya has handed out fliers of her brother’s disappearance in communities in the Western Slope and Front Range. Their family is originally from Boulder.

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