Missing elderly woman with dementia found dead in Uncompahgre National Forest

Posted at 4:26 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 21:53:59-04

MESA COUNTY, Colo. -- An elderly woman with dementia who went missing in Delta County last month was found dead in the Uncompahgre National Forest this week, Mesa County officials said Wednesday.

Mary Finnegan, 82, was found about three miles from where her car was found July 24, according to a Mesa County Sheriff's deputy. 

On Tuesday, ranchers not part of the search effort, said they noticed something after going down a four-wheel-drive road looking for items that may have fallen of their truck. Finnegan's family members, who were camped out in the area looking for her, were notified and they were able to find the elderly woman's jacket under a tree, along with her body. 

Finnegan's body was found about 50 yards off the roadway hidden under thick brush, the deputy said.

"Our hearts go out to Mary's family who worked tirelessly alongside our searchers and remained in the area even after we suspended our search operations," said Sheriff Matt Lewis. "Although this is not the outcome we wanted, I hope this will bring some level of closure to all of Mary Finnegan's family and friends."

Finnegan was last seen on July 15 at the Rose Bowl Bowling Alley in Montrose.

Her car was found abandoned on a four-wheel-drive road off Divide Road near the Mesa County and Montrose County line on July 24, according to officials. 

The massive search effort covered about 154 square miles and did include the area where Finnegan was found. At this time, there does not appear to be any signs of foul play, officials said. 


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