South Routt A 52-year-old Oak Creek woman died Wednesday night from hypothermia after she apparently wandered away from a campsite near Chapman Reservoir and fell into the water.
Rio Blanco County Sheriff and deputy coroner Anthony Mazzola said Christine Ann Riggle was camping with two other Oak Creek women on Dunkley Pass when she left the campsite Wednesday night and did not return.
The other campers called law enforcement at 3 a.m. after realizing Riggle was not at the campsite, Mazzola said.
"Apparently she had left sometime during Wednesday night, and never returned," he said.
A Routt County Search and Rescue crew and Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office deputies found Riggle around 11:50 a.m. Thursday approximately 476 feet from the campsite on the reservoir's water edge in "thick willows."
"We're assuming she fell into the water," Mazzola said Friday. "If she had been able to stay dry, she probably would have been all right."
The women were the only campers in the area Wednes-day night, Mazzola said. Temperatures had dropped to around 20 degrees, he added.
Routt County Search and Rescue member Darrel Leving-ston said Riggle was found within two hours despite conditions that were complicated by Tuesday's snowstorm.
"It's pretty high up there," he said. "There still a lot of snow up there. It was extremely cold" Wednesday night.
Mazzola said the death was not suspicious. Alcohol is suspected to be a contributing factor, he said.
"It's just a very sad accident," he said.
- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234
or e-mail email@example.com