Campers found dead in Colorado planned to live 'off grid,' family says

An exact cause of death has not yet been determined for any of the individuals, who are thought to have died over the winter.

Gunnison National Forest

Three people whose remains were found partially mummified in a Colorado forest were planning to live "off the grid," according to family members.

The remains of Christine Vance, 41; Rebecca Vance, 42, and Rebecca's 14-year-old son were found earlier in July near a remote campsite in Gunnison National Forest. The bodies showed signs of mummification, decomposition and malnourishment, and an exact cause of death has not yet been determined. Authorities said possible causes of death may include starvation, exposure to freezing temperatures or carbon monoxide poisoning.

The campsite contained empty food containers, books about outdoor survival and a lean-to built from local logs.

Family members told Gunnison County Coroner Michael Barnes that the group from Colorado Springs had planned to live "off the grid."

3 decomposed bodies found at Colorado campsite
3 decomposed bodies found at Colorado campsite

3 decomposed bodies found at Colorado campsite

The Gunnison County Sheriff's Office said the decomposed bodies were found near the Gold Creek Campground.


"They had a lot of literature with them about outdoor survival and foraging and stuff like that. But it looked like they supplied at a grocery store," Barnes told The Associated Press.

There were no vehicles or firearms at the campsite, authorities said.

A hiker discovered one of the bodies at the campsite in July. Authorities searching the area discovered the other two when they arrived at the campsite. Two of the bodies were inside a tent.

The group is thought to have set camp sometime in July of 2022, and to have died sometime over the winter.