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Two women, teen boy found dead at Gunnison County campsite had gone to “live off the grid”

A woman from Colorado Springs, her son, and her sister apparently were trying to “live off the grid” in the mountains near a wilderness area northeast of Gunnison when they died at a campsite last winter, Gunnison County authorities said Tuesday.

While a final toxicology analysis hasn’t been completed, the three decomposed bodies found at the remote campsite have been identified as those of Rebecca Vance, 42, Christine Vance, 41, and Rebecca’s 14-year-old son, Gunnison County Coroner Michael Barnes said.

Formerly residents of Colorado Springs, they set out near the end of July last year, Barnes said. “According to some family members I talked to, they indicated they were going to go ‘live off the grid.’ They didn’t specify where. The family members said they trusted they knew what they were getting into.”

A hiker found one of the bodies on July 9 in a forest near the Gold Creek Campground, about 7 miles from Ohio City, near 13,266-foot Henry Mountain, at the of the Fossil Ridge Wilderness. Sheriff’s deputies went to the site and found two more bodies.

No vehicle was found at the campsite. Deputies found evidence that the women and boy had set up a long-term camp.

“They did try to camp through the winter, and possibly died due to exposure to the elements or malnutrition after running out of food,” Barnes said.

No evidence of foul play was found, deputies said, and the official cause and manner of death were expected to be released soon.

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