Photo from the Ridgway Amateur Sculpture Contest II on Sat. June 22, 2013.
Zina Lahr took fourth place overall.
Photo by Bill Tiedje
By Sheridan Block
Missing 23-year-old Zina Lahr of Ouray was found dead on Thursday soon after police issued an emergency search alert for her earlier in the morning.
According to Ouray Police Chief Justin Perry, the Ouray Police Department received a missing person report around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Lahr was reported to have left her home in Ouray around 1:30 p.m. and was possibly last seen around 4 p.m. walking toward the Cascade Falls flume.
An officer on duty along with nearly 10 private citizens searched for Lahr until about 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21. Due to lighting and potentially hazardous weather conditions the search was postponed until sunlight. A search team was organized on Thursday that included the police department, fire department, emergency medical services, sheriff’s department and mountain rescue.
Around 7:45 a.m. on Thursday the Sheriff’s department issued an emergency alert for Lahr. Soon after, around 10:15 a.m. the “BOLO” (“Be on the lookout”) was called off, though no information was immediately released as to whether or not Lahr was found.
Perry reported that around 7:30 a.m. the department activated a “target notification” in the city, which is a “reverse 911” call that sends a recorded message to residents within a certain location informing them of the situation. Based on that call, he said, an individual gathered a group of friends and searched the Perimeter Trail.
A body was sighted off the trail at the north end of the Cascade Falls flume on the high side below some rocks. The body was confirmed to be Lahr. She was declared dead at the site.
The cause of death is suspected to be due to a fall and at this time there is no suggestion or suspicion of foul play, said Perry. Her body was removed from the site by mountain rescue.
“It’s been a week of death,” said Perry, citing five death investigations this week.
Along with the Revenue-Virginius mine tragedy Sunday, a man was found dead at the Columbus Hotel on Sunday morning and another death was reported to the Sheriff on Monday.
According to her Facebook profile, Lahr was a Ouray native. She worked in animation and design and was employed by charity organization Light Gives Heat based in Grand Junction and Chiodo Bros Productions in Burbank, Calif. Perry mentioned that it was reported Zina was “a lover of nature” and spent a lot of time on the local trails.
“It sounds like everybody was pretty close to her,” he said.