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Saguache authorities say family scattered loved one's ashes, bones near Crestone campground

North Crestone Creek Campground
Posted at 9:57 AM, Apr 27, 2022

SAGUACHE COUNTY, Colo. — After a person reported finding bones near a campground northeast of Crestone, officials determined that family members purposefully scattered a loved one's ashes and bones along the road.

On Monday around 5:30 p.m., the Saguache County Sheriff's Office received a tip that a person had found possible human bones near the Forest Service gate to the North Crestone Creek Campground, which is up Saguache County Road 71. The bones, which were confirmed to be human on Wednesday, were found along the road.

The sheriff's said they learned in the investigation that the family of the deceased person had scattered the remains along the road after they couldn't reach the North Crestone Trailhead.

The coroner is working to return the remains to the family.

After the report came in Monday, a sheriff's office corporal arrived at the scene and found the bones. The corporal noted that they appeared to be human and seemed to have been burned because the bones were mixed in ashes, according to the sheriff's office. A coroner was called to the scene and also believed the bones were human. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was asked to send an evidence collection team, which arrived the following day to collect the bones. After that, the coroner took possession of the bones.

Early in the investigation, the sheriff's office said they did not believe the bones belonged to Suzanne Morphew or Kristal Reisinger, two missing women in the state.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the North Crestone Creek Campground "is rustic with camping sites nestled among Aspen, Juniper, Fir and other riparian-loving trees. Because the sites are so far apart, each site has a feeling of secluded wilderness camping with few of the inconveniences." It has remained closed for the season since late November.

The sheriff's office said it respects families' wishes to scatter the ashes of a loved ones in places that are special to them, but it requests that they only do so in places that are not heavily trafficked and in a manner where it's not noticeable to the public.