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Remains found at Officer’s Gulch site those of Aurora man

Robert Allen
Summit correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado – More than 20 human bones discovered last week on the south side of Officer’s Gulch have been identified as belonging to Anthony Kleczka of Aurora.

Kleczka was reported missing in October 2001, when he was 21 years old.

The remains – which included a jaw bone and a weathered backpack with photo identification – were found near the Ten Mile Creek recreation path at an elevation of about 10,300 feet, half a mile west of eastbound Interstate 70, according to a press release from Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson.

Cause of death is listed as undetermined.

Paulette Horr of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said Kleczka “probably slid down about 75 feet” while hiking up a rock face.

According to Richardson’s office, it is unusual to find ID near human remains.

“More often than not, when human bones are found, it is virtually impossible to identify them,” according to the press release.

A pair of weathered khaki pants containing ID matching that found in the backpack was also found.

Dental records confirmed identification of Kleczka’s body Tuesday afternoon.

Two hikers discovered the remains on June 18 and contacted authorities, who discovered more bones up a steep incline, “which were consistent with predatory activity,” according to the press release.

In an unrelated incident, an intact skeleton in a coffin estimated to be from the mid- to late-1800s was discovered at 700 Broken Lance on Monday, according to the press release.

“It is believed the bones are of a young adult. However, the sciatic notch [right hip bone] appears to be male, but the skull has both male and female characteristics that may indicate Asian origin,” according to the press release.

An anthropologist is to be consulted, and the bones are to be reburied in Valley Brook Cemetery.

Square iron nails and two white, possibly ceramic buttons were found, though no clothing was recovered from the wooden coffin.

In late April, excavators discovered human bones at the same address. The area had apparently been a burial site many years before the subdivision was constructed a decade ago.


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