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Boulder police officer dies while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

Posted at 12:24 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 19:11:40-04

BOULDER, Colo. – An officer with the Boulder Police Department died Thursday while hiking Rocky Mountain National Park, the department said in a news release Friday.

Ashley Haarmann, 35, was hiking a treacherous part of Martha’s Couloir on Mount Lady Washington in Rocky Mountain National Park when she fell about 200 feet, according to RMNP spokeswoman Kyle Patterson.

Park rangers were notified of the accident by a family member who said they had received information via a satellite communication device of an emergency in that area.

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members arrived at the scene at araouond. 4:45 p.m. and were helped with the aerial search efforts by Mesa Verde Interagency Helitak crew, which is currently assigned to the Morgan Creek Fire near Steamboat Springs.

Haarmann’s body was flown out of the area at approximately 8:15 p.m. via a long line operation to the Upper Beaver Meadows helipad where she was transferred to the Boulder County Coroner’s office, Patterson said in a news release.

A spokesperson with the Boulder Police Department said Haarmann had been with the force for about a year-and-a-half.

Chief Maris Herold sent members of the BPD Command Staff o the park to make sure Officer Haarmann was covered with the American flag until she was escorted to the Boulder County Coroner’s Office late last night, police said in a news release.

“Our Department is again mourning the loss of a friend, coworker and dedicated public servant,” Chief Herold said. “Ashley was doing something she loved yesterday, and though it’s not much, I hope we can take some solace in that.”

In an interview with Denver7, Herold said Haarmann moved to Colorado from Houston because "she thought it was the most beautiful state in the union."

"This department has been through more than most and I think the message is, ‘We’re gonna get through this together – we have a great community in Boulder – but we lost one of our own again... Ashley was doing something that she loved and that’s the only thing that I can think of is that, she came to Boulder to hike, she was a triathlete and that’s the only solace that I can take away from this," Herold said.

The chief of police said Haarmann loved hiking and was an outdoor person who loved being a police officer and loved community service.