Body found in Fort Collins lake ID'd as McDonald's employee; death ‘suspicious'

Woman was found in her McDonald's uniform
Posted at 4:08 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-24 02:52:09-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – A body found in Sheldon Lake inside Fort Collins City Park Wednesday evening has been identified, and police say her death doesn’t appear to be the result of an accident.

The Larimer County Coroner identified the victim Friday as Heather “Helena” Hoffmann, 23, of Fort Collins. Authorities have yet to release a cause and manner of death.

Police say Hoffmann was employed at the McDonald’s located on West Elizabeth Street and City Park Avenue. She was last seen leaving work early Wednesday morning at 1 a.m. A park visitor found her body floating in the lake more than 15 hours later.

Police say Hoffmann lived in the area of Laporte Avenue and Shields Street and typically walked home from work. Authorities recovered her body from Sheldon Lake with her McDonald’s uniform still on and a black purse.

Police are calling her death suspicious and will be conducting an investigation in the area where her body was found.

An employee at the McDonald's where Hoffmann worked had no comment when contacted by Denver7 Friday.

One of her friends, 25-year-old Brittany Wilson, of Loveland, told The Coloradoan that Hoffmann was always careful and likely would not have stopped for a stranger. Wilson described the young mother as "doing well and good and amazing" before her death, despite experiencing a "rough past."

Sheldon Lake is a popular fishing spot and is next to an outdoor municipal pool inside City Park off West Mulberry Street in northwest Fort Collins.

Anyone with information that may help investigators is urged to contact Detective Tessa Jakobsson at or 970-221-6575.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.