Preliminary autopsy results have found no clues to explain why a 40-year-old Bayfield woman was found dead along Florida Road last week, according to La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith.
"We didn't find anything," Smith said Thursday.
Around 7:15 a.m. Saturday, Durango Police responded to a report of a dead body along the 1600 block of Florida Road (County Road 240), which was later identified as Melissa Bales, who lived with her husband and son in Forest Lakes.
However, since Bales was discovered about 10 to 15 feet off the roadway, authorities have had little go on as to what caused Bales' death and why she was in the area, about 18 miles from her home.
Smith said the autopsy showed no signs of Bales being hit by a car or assaulted in anyway - she had no physical injuries.
Now, authorities will have to wait for the results of a toxicology and histology (which examines skin tissue) to help determine what may have led up to the longtime La Plata County resident's death.
Durango Police previously said they don't suspect any foul play. Authorities had mentioned the possibly that Bales died of exposure, though she was wearing a down jacket, pants and shoes.
Bales' family did not know why she was in the area, Smith said.
Durango Police did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment Thursday afternoon.
Bales had been living in La Plata County for some time, according to friends. She was owner of Mac Works Consulting in Bayfield, and previously worked for Chimera Communications, Basin Printing & Imaging and the Durango Chamber of Commerce.
Smith said it could take weeks for the final results of the toxicology and histology report. Smith said it's not uncommon for investigators to find little clues at the scene or in autopsy, and have to rely on lab results for possible causes of death.