Western Colorado Unsolved Mystery: Death On the Flat Tops in 2004
The remains of a man were discovered in western Colorado in September of 2004, but the man's identity still remains a mystery.
Reddit user HelHeals keeps digital diaries of unsolved cases like this and shares details that have been shrouded in mystery for 16 years. Why did this man die? Who was this man? It appears the tent had been through at least one winter.
The skeletal remains of a man were discovered in a tent by hunters in the Flat Tops Wilderness area north of Glenwood Springs. The cause and manner of death are unknown, as is the man's identity. We know the remains are of a caucasian man who could be between 27 to 65 years old. He was approximately 5'11" to 6'1" with extensive dental work. He also appeared to have suffered from arthritis and severe degeneration in his back and neck. You can see a reconstruction image of the man's face here.
Investigators found a notebook that contained some writing, but it did not include his name.
In writings addressed to "Lib," the first page says,
"I should write in case my situation here doesn't improve. This may be the end of my journey."
It's not definitive that the word is "write" rather than "wait. "
Another line of writing says,
"Would like for you to claim the body . . . services or memorial. Cremation."
There are several theories about this case and why the man was even there.
One theory is that the man was hiking for four or five days after entering the Flat Tops Wilderness at a trailhead from the north and then set up camp in a southern drainage. Two trail maps of the Flat Tops were discovered with the remains. The maps were marked with a route that led to where the remains of the man were discovered.
Another theory suggests the "Lib" in the writing was a hiking companion because of the fact there were several pairs of items found, including maps, canteens, and drinking cups.
It's possible the man was from Australia because his sleeping bag case looks like it's branded Perth, Australia. The man was carrying more than $600 cash, so it doesn't appear there was any indication that death was imminent when he started his journey.
Several possible names have been ruled out over the years, but one known possibility remains. Mark Allen Husk from Ferrisburgh, Vermont was reported missing in October of 2003. Apparently, he was an avid outdoorsman who frequently traveled alone. It's been discovered he had a relative named Elizabeth. Could this be the "Lib" in the writings?
This case may never be solved, but it is a fascinating story. You can read more about the case and see photos from the campsite discovery here.