Updated Information Release
On Friday, October 30, 2020, a body was recovered from the Pulpit Rock area in the Black Canyon led by Rick Fellabaum, Chief Investigator of the Montrose County Coroner’s Office along with the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service (NPS). The retrieval was made possible utilizing a helicopter owned by Hillsboro Aviation from Hillsboro, Oregon and the assistance of crew members from the NPS out of Mt. Reiner, Washington, The identity of the deceased has been confirmed as Walter Kent Jackson, an 18-year-old student of Western Colorado University in Gunnison. Cause and manner of death are pending an autopsy and continuing investigation by the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, the Gunnison Police Department, The National Park Service and the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigation.
Montrose, COLO.—The Montrose County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has located a body of a young male, along with a 2018 Black Chevrolet Tahoe in a remote area east of Montrose on Friday afternoon.
Montrose County Coroner Dr. Thomas Canfield, M.D., was called to the scene. Based upon the circumstances, the recovered paperwork and the vehicle identification, it is presumed that the body is that of Walter Kent Jackson, an 18-year-old student from Western Colorado University in Gunnison who has been missing since Oct. 19. Cause and manner of death are pending autopsy results and toxicology analysis. The case is under investigation by the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, the Gunnison Police Department (GPD), and the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigation.
Walter Jackson was reported to GPD as a missing person on Wednesday, Oct. 21. An initial cell phone location placed Jackson in an area northwest of Montrose County. The MCSO was called to assist the investigation, and began search efforts in Montrose County. A more specific cellular location technology indicated an area east of Montrose on Thursday afternoon. Further investigation led authorities to the vehicle location. At this time, authorities are waiting for clear conditions to begin recovery operations.
All agencies would like to express their heartfelt sympathies to the family and communities affected by the loss.