A Colorado couple who went missing on a hike has been found dead by the trail, both with gunshot wounds, police said. Lee and Stella Vigil went hiking together on the Santa Fe trail in Colorado Springs on Friday but they were reported missing by around 8:30 p.m. when they failed to return.
The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) posted about their disappearance late on October 2, writing, “Missing couple: Lee and Stella Vigil, in their 70’s. Last believed to be on a hike from Woodmen Rd along the Santa Fe trail to USAFA. Lee is 5’1”, medium build, short gray/black hair and a mustache. Stella is 4’9”, medium build and short gray hair. If seen, please call 444-7000.”
The CSPD later posted a brief update: “The missing couple from yesterday have been located.”
Family Members & Officials Searched the Trail Area & the Couple Was Found a Few Hours Later
According to KKTV, officers and family members went to the south trailhead at Edmundson near I-25 and Woodmen, where they found the couple’s car. El Paso County Search and Rescue then responded to the scene and began searching the trail. The outlet reported that the Vigils’ bodies were located a few hours later off the trail near Fountain Creek. Both had been shot.
The outlet added that the coroner’s report on their cause and manner of death will be available on Tuesday. According to KRDO, homicide detectives were investigating on Saturday morning.
The outlet spoke about the news to people walking along the trail on Saturday and many were shocked by the couple’s deaths: “I don’t want my wife to come here alone. She always has to come with me from now on, if we come back,” one hiker said. Another added, “Up until today I usually feel pretty good. You have to be a little careful, sometimes there are some sketchy people. It’s sad, it’s upsetting, I think I’ve seen them on the trail before.”
On Sunday, the CSPD Stated They Are Not Looking for Any Suspects & There Is No Danger to the Community
On Sunday, police said that they are not looking for any suspects in the case and have identified all individuals involved, Fox21 reported. They added that there is “no danger to the community” and they do not believe that any arrests will be necessary. No further information was provided about the circumstances surrounding the Vigils’ deaths.
The Sante Fe Regional Trail is a popular hiking trail that stretches 17 miles north from the Edmundson trailhead to the Palmer Lake Recreation Area, passing through the U.S. Air Force Academy, according to Traillink.com. It’s a multi-use trail very popular for bikers and runners alike.
The couple appeared to have loved traveling and being active, as their joint Facebook account shows pictures of the two of them exploring the U.S. Lee Vigil described one photo of the couple in 2018: “Checking off Kentucky the last STATE to finish having visited ALL 50 states. What [an] adventure [it’s] been.”