Emergency services found a local 16-year-old girl dead Friday about 4½ miles up a bumpy Forest Service road high above Lemon Reservoir, La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith said Saturday.
It took Smith an hour and a half to make the trek to the location where the girl was found on an off-road trail in northeast La Plata County, she said. She was with her father at the time – there were no signs of foul play or suicide, and there was “basically no physical trauma,” Smith said.
The death appears to be the result of an all-terrain vehicle crash – the girl and the ATV were found off the marked path in the wilderness some time after the incident happened around 10 a.m., Smith said. The girl, who is from the Bayfield area, was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, she said.
Officials do not believe the ATV hit a tree and declined to name the victim.
“He (her father) wasn’t with her at the moment when the event happened, but he was right there very close,” Smith said.
An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday, after which more information about the girl’s death will be available.
Upper Pine Fire Protection District Chief Bruce Evans declined to comment. La Plata County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return a call for comment.