DENVER – As we reach the end of the year, we’re taking a look back at the stories that caught viewers’ eyes and were the most-read on our website during 2017.
Adam Gilbertson, 29, was living in Denver and working as a nurse at a local hospice care facility when he went missing after a Dec. 14 show at the Syntax Physic Opera in Denver.
He still has not been found, and his family continues to work to find new leads. Gilbertson’s family members have set up a website with Adam’s immediate information, hoping someone can reach out in case they know his whereabouts.
Mickey Wilson became a national hero at the beginning of the year, when his quick thinking and professional slacklining skills came in handy when he spotted a skier whose backpack had become trapped in the chair, leaving him hanging by his neck.
Wilson jumped into action, quickly scaling the lift tower and crawling over to cut the man free as he passed out due to a lack of oxygen.
The skier was saved, and the two were presented with a trip to Hawaii by Ellen DeGeneres later in the year. Wilson used the trip to honeymoon with his new wife.
In November, Denver7 Investigates published a report showing three Denver police officers were suspended after three different incidents in which people arrested were forgotten about while in a temporary holding cell—sometimes for hours.
Victoria Ugalde spent nearly 13 hours in a temporary holding cell in January. Ugalde was handcuffed out of reach of the toilet and was forced to urinate on the floor during her lengthy detention. She says she’s now considering a lawsuit.
In late November, Romello Leach, a licensed minister associated with churches that would meet at the Satellite Hotel in Colorado Springs, was arrested for sexually assaulting a teen girl who was 14 at the time. The release of the affidavit for Leach’s arrest contained startling details about his alleged relationship with the girl.
The case is still in the court system, and authorities have asked for any more possible victims of Leach’s to come forward and talk to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
A camp staffer named Dylan, 19, was sleeping at his campsite at the Christian camp in Boulder County when he woke about around 4 a.m. to a bear biting his head and trying to drag him off.
Fellow staffers scared the bear off, but not before it sunk its teeth into Dylan’s scalp. But he told Denver7 the incident hasn’t scared him off from the outdoors.
"I'm not afraid of the bears. I'm not afraid of sleeping outside anymore. You just have to be aware and respect the animals," Dylan said.
The bear was found and euthanized a day later.
Road crews pulled one person from flaming wreckage on the last day of May as a fuel tanker caught fire after crashing into a median on I-25.
Colorado Department of Transportation officials immediately closed down the interstate when the tanker caught fire. Fuel spilled into the roadway, spreading the fire across the median.
Smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away, and the northbound lanes of the interstate were closed for more than 13 hours as crews worked to repair the damage to the road and divider.
The solar eclipse darkened skies over Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska for hours mid-August, and millions watched the event.
Denver7 live streamed the entire event, but the peak of totality could be seen at 11:47 a.m. If you’d like to relive the eclipse, here’s your chance.
In September, Denver7 Investigates exposed the suspension of five nurses at Denver Health Medical Center who had inappropriately viewed a deceased patient’s body and remarked about the size of the man’s genitals—at one point opening a body bag to view the anatomy. Four of the staffers eventually were allowed to return to work following their suspensions.
At the onset of 2017, 6-year-old David Puckett went missing after walking away from home. After extensive searches went on for days, the boy’s body was tragically found at Olympic Park in Aurora.
The day after a man entered a Thornton Walmart and allegedly shot and killed three people inside, an overnight manhunt came to an abrupt end when police stopped and arrested 47-year-old Scott Ostrem for the shooting.
Ostrem has been charged with six counts of murder and 30 counts of attempted murder, and also faces sentence enhancers if he’s convicted. He is next due in court Feb. 5 for a preliminary hearing.