Sheriff’s Department makes headway on skull ID |

Sheriff’s Department makes headway on skull ID

Submitted PhotoA clay reconstruction of a skull found on Red Mountain.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Statewide, people are coming forward to help identify a human male skull that was found by hikers last August on Red Mountain just outside the Glenwood Springs city limits.

The tips are flowing after the release of photographs of a clay reconstruction of the man’s face by Sandy Mays, a Wyoming-based forensic anthropologist.

Detective Tim Fisher of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said Monday he’d received a couple of dozen phone calls and visits from people regarding the skull.

Last week, the sheriff’s office began circulating photographs of the clay composite locally, in Grand Junction and along the Front Range to identify the man.

Fisher said the public can help even more by providing the sheriff’s office with detailed information if it’s available. He said people can e-mail pictures of individuals who look like the clay face. The department can also use dental records of men who are known missing that resemble the clay reconstruction.

“It also helps us to know where the person was last seen,” Fisher said.

Fisher said several names have come up more than once from different sources in identifying the man. He said since the case is under investigation, those names are not being made public.

“I don’t want to cloud the public’s ability to correctly identify this person by suggesting any names,” Fisher said.

A color photograph appeared in the Post Independent Monday, which depicted the man with reddish-brown hair and brown eyes. Fisher said investigators don’t know the deceased man’s hair or eye color, or hairstyle for that matter.

“We chose a very generic, middle-of-the-road hairstyle because without hair, the reconstruction would look like a mannequin and would be that much harder to identify,” said Fisher.

He also said people might find it easier to identify a black-and-white photo of the clay face, since hair and eye color aren’t clarified.

Fisher said it’s common in missing persons cases to receive a lot of response when a facial reconstruction is made public.

“There’s always hope a missing person will be found,” he said, adding that people instinctively look for answers when someone disappears.

Some people contacting Fisher on Monday thought they recognized the face, but didn’t know the person’s whereabouts or if he was alive or dead.

“People will call and say that picture looks like someone they knew in high school, or that they haven’t seen the person for 10 years,” Fisher said. “That’s what we’re doing now. We’re doing a lot of weeding out.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

Anyone with information about the identity of the male skull found on Red Mountain in Glenwood Springs last August should contact:

– 945-1377, ext. 309

– E-mail:

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