Chris Corna



Chris Corna

Examiner confident of suicide ruling

Medical official hesitant to release more details of Corna's death


If you go

What: Chris Corna memorial service

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Slopeside Grill, 1855 Ski Time Square Drive

Call: Lindsey Grannis at 846-5680 for more information

Donations: In lieu of flowers, donations should be made in Corna's name to Routt County Humane Society at 879-7247 or Doak Walker Care Center, in care of the Healthcare Foundation for the Yampa Valley at 871-0700.

Organizers request friends and family leave their dogs at home for the service.

Free shuttle and food: In tribute to Corna, Go Alpine will provide complimentary shuttle service Sunday from the memorial to in-town locations from 7 to 9 p.m. Cafe Diva is offering complimentary hors d'oeuvres after the service and is moving its Sunday reservations to Monday.

The Westchester County, N.Y., medical examiner reiterated Thursday his confidence that Slopeside Grill owner Chris Corna's death was a suicide.

Although Deputy Medical Examiner Alexander Milovanovic would not discuss the specific details that led him to his conclusion, he clarified that Corna suffered only one knife cut across his neck. Port Chester police initially reported that Corna had suffered multiple knife wounds.

Corna died early Monday in Port Chester, N.Y., after he crossed the centerline of U.S. Highway 1 in a rented car and crashed into the foundation of a railroad bridge. Milovanovic has said either the crash or the cut could have been the fatal injury.

"I understand how much pain this tragedy brought to all his friends, but we (made the determination) with reliable information, and everything is consistent with suicide," Milovanovic said. "This very incident is plain, simple suicide."

Milovanovic said he reached his conclusion based on his examination of Corna and evidence provided by the Port Chester Police Department.

"I would not place any death in a category without having evidence. I have to defend my decision," he said. "In fact, for a suicide determination we need something that points that this was a deliberate act."

Port Chester police said Thursday that their investigation is not complete, and they declined to provide any additional details.

Milovanovic said his work in the investigation is done, but he will continue to work with police as needed. The Steamboat Pilot & Today has submitted a request to the medical examiner's office for the autopsy report, but because the toxicology report is included in the autopsy and could take several weeks, the findings are not expected for several weeks.

Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for the Westchester County District Attorney's Office, said Thursday that the DA's Office is not involved in the investigation.

Phone messages left for Corna's parents and fiancee were not immediately returned Thursday afternoon and evening.

Sunday memorial

Memorial services are planned for 5 p.m. Sunday at Slopeside Grill. A second service also is planned for Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. Details for the Ohio service are not available.

Friends and family are requested to leave their dogs at home during Sunday's service at Slopeside.

In tribute to Corna, Go Alpine will provide complimentary shuttle service Sunday from the service to in-town locations from 7 to 9 p.m. Cafe Diva is offering complimentary hors d'oeuvres after the service and is moving its Sunday reservations to Monday.


greenwash 7 years, 11 months ago

Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide (REPS) Tuesday June 2nd 6-8 PM at SBS Community Center. ALL ARE WELCOME


fenwick01 7 years, 11 months ago

What a way to wake up... Thank you, Chris Woodie. These are the first tears all week that came with a smile. Hope tomorrow is filled with these stories... How could it not be? He was the best!


chris woodie 7 years, 11 months ago

Am I the only one that thinks this is reminiscent of a Stephen King book? I refuse to accept this. I dont know who bought off who, and for what reason, but there is a serious scandal/coverup/conspiracy going on here. Mafia, maybe???


wildflower 7 years, 11 months ago

The mind is like a parachute..."It only works when it is open"... Will the tears and the shock ever end? If Chris had his way...he would say.."The tears should stop now".."Life is fragile and unpredictable...let my smile be the rule and not the exception"...


steamboatsprings 7 years, 11 months ago

It just doesn't matter what some washed up coroner out east thinks. We all know that this is a terrible accident and we have lost a shining star.


Craig Neuhoff 7 years, 11 months ago

Considering all the people that have lived in the Boat and are now living elsewhere, such as Shannon and I in ATL, I would imagine there are a lot of good stories throughout the country and I think it would be cool for his family to know how many people he made laugh. I will start with when he first moved to Steamboat and was my downstairs neighbor at Shadow Run. Me being young, dumb, inconsiderate and a guy, I was busted by Chris when for some reason I could not make it inside to the restroom. Chris and I had many laughs over this throughout the years.


aintnoway 7 years, 11 months ago

Wow. The coroner sounds confident. Can this many people be wrong?? It still makes no sense - and I guess never will. It sounds as if the police are still conducting an investigation and perhaps will get to the bottom of this very bizarre and tragic incident. Regardless of the facts surrounding his death, the world has truly lost one of its finest men.


freckledb 7 years, 11 months ago

I have known Chris for 11 years and he was the one of the only people, I knew, that lived each moment, to the fullest. The man reveled in life, never wasting time on anger or depression even though his situations might have been frustrating. He had gone through loss and to watch a man, who smiled so freely..cry, was one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever witnessed.

He helped me through the loss of my sister, years ago, with a daily phone call, for two weeks straight! He was the kind of guy that would reach out, above and beyond what even your closest friends might have done. Chris was genuine and sincere. I can't tell you how many cd compilations (including Tom Petty and the Gypsy Kings, of course) that he gave me to keep my spirits up. I am still reeling (as I am sure all of Steamboat as well) at the loss of such an amazing person.

I miss you Chris, may you be at peace knowing how loved you are. To his family and fiancee, my prayers are with you during this incredibly hurtful time. May all the good thoughts and memories of Chris bring you some kind of peace.

Here's to you, Corna:I'll save a couple frozen snicker bars for you! See you soon:


sue weber 7 years, 11 months ago

Ohio service: A memorial service for the late Chris Corna is scheduled for 5 p.m. May 30, 2009, at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 7121 Muirfield Dr., Dublin, Ohio


honestabe 7 years, 11 months ago

i am confident that chris was a great man who left behind many many happy memories and smiles. whenever i think of him, that big warming smile immediately comes to mind, as well as his ability to stop from his busy workday and listen, laugh and communicate with those he cared for. he was a brilliant diamond in Steamboat, and will be missed


alohamomma 7 years, 11 months ago

I cannot believe it in my heart. I still think someone forced or threatened him to do it.


fenwick01 7 years, 11 months ago

I think Greenwich is one of those towns where money talks and people walk. Hopefully, the police are still investigating and when they take down the killer, they can also take down the medical examiner. There are sooooo many scenarios how this could have been set up to look like a suicide - and a lot of money can buy professional hitmen. We have to believe there is a lot going on behind the scenes which will not be reported until an arrest has been made. Have faith.


Marie Menk 7 years, 11 months ago

Regardless of how Chris died, Steamboat and the world has lost a shining star.

Suicide is so often misunderstood and carries a stigma that is perpetuated by ignorance. Having lost a loved one due to suicide, I have unfortunately been exposed to this ignorance time and time again. Please consider Chris' family before jumping to conclusions or speaking hurtful words about suicide. They are in enough pain and confusion without adding insult to injury by stigmatizing someone who has committed suicide as weak or crazy.

Before just spewing hateful words, accusing innocent people or being consumed by your own denial and ignorance, educate yourself on the harsh reality of suicide, even in our paradise of Steamboat Springs.

Chris is lost to us, a tragedy beyond words, but there are resources, support groups and people to talk to here in this town, to educate us on suicide and even better, suicide prevention.

Go to the Reps webpage, talk to someone about it. Grieving someone who has committed suicide leaves one hanging with so many unanswered questions and a wide range of emotions.


jimbo 7 years, 11 months ago

Alexander Vilovanec needs to explain himself....

At this point I don't trust or believe him...what his background?...maybe I watched to much Sopranos but I think Chris was killed and Alexander is being paid off by the angry ex....I mean c'mon.


Leslie Faulkner 7 years, 11 months ago

i knew chris pretty well, although not as well as some. if it was my child or fiance who died under these circumstances and there was any doubt in my mind it could be homicide as opposed to suicide i would be the first to speak out. it seems the family is not speaking out about his cause of death because they believe for whatever reasons which have not been disclosed, that it was in fact a suicide. if the family was as convinced as we all are that is was not suicide, i'm sure they will be doing their own private investigation. remember, they loved him as much as we did and i am sure they will step up to bring themselves and everyone else some closure whether they accept the suicide decision or fight for justice. we gotta give everyone a little more time. it only happened 4 days ago. i dont know if i would be making statements as to the cause of death just yet if my son or fiance had just died. let's try to give it more time and keep the faith.

chris..gonna miss your hysterical sarcasm and my favorite line you'd always throw out 'how much is it gonna cost me?'


cliffwood 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks bearski, I believe that there is alot of information that we as Chris' friends do not have access to and probably never will. What we do know is that Chris was ALWAYS here for all of us, no matter what he had going on in his hectic life. Let's follow his example and make sure we are here for each other. No bills or work or t.v. show should ever be more important than the person right in front of you. We love you Chris, and you taught us to be everyones friend, I hope i can always keep you in my head and treat people the way you have treated me and my family. My love, prayers and outstretched arms go out to all especially Chris' parents and future family. Thank you for giving so much in such a short time on earth. We will love you for eternity, xoxo Merdy and familly


nothingless 7 years, 11 months ago

If he wasn't such a fantastic guy we wouldn't be so torn up. Lets try to use this to be more like Chris and what he can be remembered for; strength, having a great sense of humor & his generosity. Life is too short sometimes, lets live each day like there is no tommorrow & smile because we knew a genuine hero.


rujokn 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think anyone is judging or stigmatising suicide per se. I think there is broad agreement that the alleged facts and events just don't add up, especially with this person. I think the suicide lectures aren't that productive here. What about the examiner "clarifying" the wound that was misreported by the police that is reported herein...???

I think people are equally sympathetic to that scenario but it just doesn't fit here.

Miss you Chris.


golfskiatstmbt 7 years, 11 months ago

I think Steamboat should get our congressman to put pressure on this matter and find out what is really going on!!!! Just to many varibles in this cover up! Chris is one of our own and we should not let this get dumped in the garbage.


ElBorracho 7 years, 11 months ago

The coroner seems to be exercising better judgment than people here by declining to discuss the specifics. If Chris was my brother or cousin, I would NOT want the (upsetting, personal) medical details about his wounds and manner of death put out for public consumption just because a bunch of people on the Internet, no matter how well-meaning they might be, are demanding proof. I imagine the Pilot wouldn't even have run a follow-up story reiterating the same info as yesterday if not for all these posts. Can this really be helpful to Chris' family? Please be careful what you ask for when you put your gut feelings up against their physical evidence and demand more information, investigation, etc. "What is really going on" may not be anything the people closest to Chris want to see rehashed in the news media as they try to grieve and heal.


shyboy 7 years, 11 months ago

This whole thing just makes me feel sick. It's always so hard to make sense of things when someone is taken away so suddenly. I wasn't one of Chris's close friends but I have known him for about 13 years. I met him when I moved to Steamboat in 96. I have so many amazing memories of spending time at Slopeside. I too feel deep down things are not right about this situation. Even if he wasn't my best friend I know what a special guy he was. He was always very sweet & always took care of us girls. I've been thinking about all the good stuff though trying not to focus so much on the bad which is what he would want I think. I can't even imagine what his family is going through it brings me to tears every time I think about it. I imagine the vibe in Steamboat is strange right now. But it's such an amazing place & I know what an amazing community you are. I hope that the service can help everyone come back together & celebrate his wonderful life! I don't think I ever saw the guy with out a beautiful smile across his adorable face. Such a pleasure to interact with Chris & spend time at his much loved establishment. I used to love reggae Sundays out on the grass drinking those fruity drinks from plastic pineapples : )
That's a nice memory that he helped to provide me. My thoughts & prayers go out to all of his close friends & family.


rujokn 7 years, 11 months ago

ElBor: That is what the police did report and describe and then the examiner had to "clarify". So whose report was right? Raises questions about the story.

Anyway, back to shyboy's comment. More of those, please.


freerider 7 years, 11 months ago

I've known Chris for 20 years and I'm not buying this...he was a happy guy , just proposed to his dream girl , no money problems , successful respected member of the community , had everything to live for , no health problems , great attitude , great sense of humor , so one night decides to just go for a drive and kill himself...pure crap...only one huge problem with the coroner's report ...NO MOTIVE mix in an angry ex husband into the scene and now this makes sense..I see posts here that we should just let this go...more crap..Somebody took his life away , Chris would be pissed off if this happened to one of his friends,,,he would be the first one to stand up and yell B.S. that what this forum is for...that's what friends do for each other...I smell injustice here and a baffon for a coroner ...perhaps a cover up , but more like he was setup by the angry ex...this isn't over yet , I'm with you golfski ...get our congressman to put some pressure on this investigation...just because some coroner says that's what happened doesn't make it so


peevla 7 years, 11 months ago

When Chris just moved to town we worked together at Time Out Sports Bar. I recruited him to play hoops on my city league team. I wanted him to get under the basket and grind for rebounds; he's what, 6'4". He defied my expectations; Chris was much more of a touch player. After that year, he took over the space and started Slopeside. Looking back I think he wasn't just a touch player. He was actually a nice guy who didn't want to push anyone around. I will miss him.
Anyone see Michael Clayton?


iamspirit 7 years, 11 months ago

Bearski and Elbarracho... thank you for your wisdom and clarity during this most difficult time. You are absolutely right.

To Chris' loving friends and community... there is so much disbelief surrounding this... it is understandable why we are unable to emotionally process it as our hearts are breaking. However, please, please be careful what you wish for and what you think you are fighting for here... for Chris' sake and his family's. The police and the coroner do have information... it may or may not eventually be released to the public and there are people in Steamboat who are also aware.

We are here to honor Chris and uphold his integrity. Pointing fingers and demanding answers should be at the family's discretion. They know what is going on and are on top of things.


cara marrs 7 years, 11 months ago

In an unbelievable time like this, remembering Chris's life is the most important thing...the endless stories of generosity, that big movie star smile, the integrity he had in his business and town and the fact that he was obviously a one of a kind friend. I was not one of his close friends but I have known him for ~ 12 years and it seemed that every single time I saw him he gave me a big huge bear hug and lifted me about 2 feet off the floor, every time. He had a great way of making you feel special even for a brief moment. I also remember years ago working at another small very busy Steamboat restaurant and he would come in on Sunday for dinner after his long busy winter day at Slopeside and just laugh at us as we were getting it handed to us, knowing exactly how it was. This is a huge and unbelievable loss to our community and I imagine nothing could make his family feel better than to see how many people loved and respected their son. Everyones thoughts are with his family and those closest to him.


wildflower 7 years, 11 months ago

Suicide does not discriminate...It is not selective or picky or vindictive...Suicide is not black and white...suicide takes those who smile bravely and those who cry endlessly...Suicide is private. Suicide is lonely. Suicide is just dont always know it. It is long and arduous. It fades and reappears. It is silent with the loudest of encores. For those who do not feel or sense suicidal tendencies...when you look at the clock you see time..when someone is suicidal they look at the clock and hear every second ticking in their ear like time bomb.. Those who are suicidal have a full time job making sure no one knows or suspects. It becomes tedious and hard and overwhelming.
All consuming but yet the best kept secret. Ugly things happen in the most beautiful of places.
Unhappiness afflicts the nicest people. The truth is this is our reality...The Circle of Life and Death in Steamboat. Dont let the memories fade... Keep the music... Really love those around you... Be nice... Give...Take Be Honest... Give your Dog a Bone!


chris woodie 7 years, 11 months ago

I remember one time pretty late at night, some drunk guy ordered a beer, but he only had one dollar. Chris was behind the bar, and asked the guy for the other dollar (two dollar pints) The guy was being kind of a jerk, and he said "this is the only dollar I got, bro." So Chris, picks up his beer, chugs half of it, and says "There you go, 'bro.' There's your one dollar beer!" The funny part about that is Chris almost never drank! I still laugh about that story. Chris was always really witty, and smartassed, I loved him!

One day, Chris put in these fake rotten teeth, and was hosting for the lunch rush, with a hillbilly drawl. "Welcomes to duh slope-sahd. cun ah help ya'll?" One of the cooks was offended, because he had bad teeth. So Chris said "what the hell's you're problem? I paid twenty bucks for these, you got yours for free!"

The last time I saw him was last summer. I was visiting Steamboat, and I rolled in the Slopeside, and went to say hi. he saw me, shook his head shamefully, and said "What? They let you out of prison already?" And then he started crackin up. It just wouldn't be Chris, if he wasn't bustin' my balls!

Actually, he did have to get me out of the drunk tank after a really long night. I was late for work, and they wouldnt let me out without someone sober. He comes in laughing his ass off. The cops were telling him I just blew a .031 or something really high, and I probably shouldnt be working at all. he says "Is that all? He must have had a mellow night." then he hands me his keys, and says "Here, why dont you drive?" The look on the cops face was priceless!

On a serious note, I remember when someone was freaking out, cuz they lost a hundred dollar bill, and Chris helped him look for it, and came back to him, and said he found it in the hall, and handed him a bill. I'm pretty sure he pulled it out of his own pocket. Thats the kind of guy he was.


lizbarry 7 years, 11 months ago

This is hard for me to write because I have tried to understand suicide for the past 20 years it has scarred my family more than once. Wallflower's post was putting in to words my feelings about it. I have learned, you have to forgive the person and then yourself. Everyone that knows them tend to live in the world of what if's, I had only done this or reached out etc. beleive me the self talk can go on for years.
My cousin who committed suicide was brilliant and beautiful and wrote poetry and was the joy of his mother's life. He hid his pain so well and thouroughly. Everyone was in disbeleif but the reality is he showed the world what they wanted to see. I encourage forgiveness especially for ourselves and the quest of knowlege in search of prevention.


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