Two young women took their lives near Bayfield in the past two weeks, then a Durango teenager apparently committed suicide on Tuesday at his home.
There have now been nine suicides this year in La Plata County, many by young people.
A 22-year-old Durango woman was found dead Sunday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to La Plata County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dan Bender.
Sheriff's deputies responded to a home at about 3:30 p.m. near the 2200 block of County Road 510 after a family member called authorities to report Savannah Gelles could be suicidal, Bender said.
Deputies found Gelles with a gunshot wound to the head and a handgun next to her.
They tried unsuccessfully to revive Gelles, and when emergency medical personnel arrived she was pronounced dead, Bender said. She was alone at the time of the incident.
La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith said Monday that Gelles' death will be ruled a suicide.
Bender said Gelles was local to the Durango area. According to The Durango Herald archives, she attended Bayfield High School and was a member of the cheerleading squad. She also previously worked at Old Tymers Cafe, W.J. Doyle Wine and Spirits and Community Banks of Colorado.
Ashley Blackmore, a friend who set up an online memorial fund for the Gelles family, said Gelles death was unexpected.
"She was just a super funny, outgoing person," Blackmore said.
"It was totally unexpected. We don't really know. It's devastating for the whole family."
Blackmore said a fund will be set up at the Community Banks of Colorado, but in the meantime, donations can be made online at https://www.youcaring.com/gellesfamily-813580.
A 35-year old woman was found dead two weeks ago in her Forest Lakes home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Smith.
Around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, Bender said a roommate reported Rachelle Iverson dead at her home north of Bayfield, on Forest Lakes Drive.
Smith confirmed the death was a suicide, saying it's likely that Iverson died sometime Friday night into Saturday morning.
"I don't know what to do, they're all young," Smith said of the suicides. "I don't know where the education needs to be."
A 14-year-old Durango boy who was found dead Tuesday at his home south of Durango has been identified as Cody Ledford, a student at Escalante Middle School.
In response to these and other deaths recently, San Juan Basic Public Health is organizing a Suicide Prevention Community Summit from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 at Miller Middle School in Durango.