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Jeff Walker, missing skier: Gun found with body suggests he committed suicide

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jeff walker 205x205.jpg
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Update: Yesterday, we reported that a body was found in an out-of-bounds area of Aspen Highlands and is presumed to be Jeff Walker, a skier who'd been missing since March 7; see our previous coverage below.

As if this news wasn't heartbreaking enough for Walker's friends, family members and loved ones, who mounted an extraordinary effort to find him, a new development adds even more sadness: A gun was found near the body and the man died of a gunshot wound, raising the likelihood that Walker took his own life.

As we've reported, the search for Walker began in earnest on March 9, after he hadn't turned up since skiing at the resort on Thursday. His belongings were found in a locker at the ski area, but he otherwise seemed to have vanished without a trace. Then, on Wednesday afternoon, a snowboarder found a body in a spot far beyond the official Highlands boundaries. The male victim was reportedlywearing a blue coat of the sort Walker is thought to have worn on the day he disappeared.

The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office subsequently released a map of the mountainous terrain, with a green arrow indicating just how far away from the ski area the body was located:

aspen highlands map.jpg
If the body is positively identified as Walker, as expected, this distance indicates why official and unofficial search parties hadn't found him despite nearly three weeks of intensive efforts.

Now, the Aspen Times reports that the man died of a gunshot wound, apparently from a weapon found beside the body. The most probable scenario is suicide.

Walker loved Aspen Highlands, often skiing the resort on a daily basis. Clearly, it was among his favorite places on the planet -- and, perhaps, where he chose to end his life.

Visitors to the Tie One on For Jeff Walker Facebook page, which coordinated the private search efforts for Walker, have focused their most recent posts on the loss of someone special, not the possible manner of death, and that's entirely appropriate. Here are a few examples:

Jeff. You wrote the book on how to live in the moment and live life to the fullest. Your glass was not half full, it was always full to the rim. You touched everyone you met in a wonderfully unique way that was always full of positive and beautiful energy. Everyone has an awesome 'Walker' story and I feel really privileged to have quite a few. You went way too soon but man did you leave an lasting impression on all who knew you. I know you have found peace.

The best way to honor Jeffrey is to continue living our lives and keeping his memory alive through every day events. Rest In Peace Jeff.

hey Jeff.. thanks for the love, compassion, fun times and being brother and uncle, to so many of us kids in this valley. You are missed....

Also popping up is this card from a very young person in Walker's life:

jeff walker condolence card.jpg
Continue for our previous coverage, including photos and videos.

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11 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

More American Gun Violence ...


sids
sids

@DonkeyHotay  - What is the matter with you?  I am a friend of the Walker family - you cannot even begin to fathom the agony they are in right now.  To make such a disparaging remark about such a wonderful person, whom you obviously don't know from Adam, is hurtful, hateful, and beyond disrespectful.   Why don't you do us all a favor  -  remove your asinine comment and move to a celebrity plastic surgery site so you can blast someone without repercussion?    Or better yet, get yourself up to Highland Bowl and disappear into a tree well.  

brmurrow
brmurrow

@DonkeyHotay Very mature comment by someone who has clearly never met Jeff.  Didn't your parents teach you to treat people with respect?  It's embarrassing to have people like you in this world who think that contributing a comment means being a complete a**.  What do you gain from a comment like that?  All you do is hurt people.  Why don't you get the facts before you decide to insert your opinion into the world.  I wonder if anyone would miss you if you were lost on a mountain.      

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "an Aspen area wine consultant,"

Sounds like another euphemism for Cocaine Dealer ...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@sids 

When asked if the family has pondered if it was possible that his brother isn't on Highlands, Buzz Walker replied that the family has an ongoing joke that he is alive and decided to run off and “live as a hermit in the Andes.” Their hope is they will find him alive, “and we'll kill him ourselves,” he said with a laugh.

Are you going to whine and criticize his own brother and family for their gallows humor?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mozart99 @sids

Not such a "wonderful person" now ... to put his own FAMILY and friends through such PAIN, AGONY and SUFFERING. eh?

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