Body of a hiker recovered from Great Sand Dunes National Preserve


SAND DUNES — On Monday, June 26, Custer County Search and Rescue, Saguache County Search and Rescue and the Western Mountain Rescue recovered the body of a hiker between Milwaukee Peak and Marble Mountain in the Great Sand Dunes National Preserve.

Two hikers discovered the body on Sunday, June 25 and reported it to the Custer County Sheriff’s Department. The body was safely recovered and transferred by Flight for Life on Monday, June 26.

The National Park Service is working with the Saguache County Coroner’s Office to confirm the identity of the body and cause of death.

A hiker was reported missing at Great Sand Dunes on May 14 and an intensive, interagency search was launched. After there was no sign of the presumed missing hiker during ground and aerial search efforts, search efforts were scaled back. Further investigation by the coroner’s office will determine if the body recovered on Monday is that of the hiker reported missing in May.

Public Information Officer Kathy Faz said there might be an identity released by the end of the week but it could take longer than that. She said she was not yet releasing the gender of the body found this week nor the name of the missing hiker from May, because the case was still under investigation. If the body found this week is confirmed to be the missing hike, the identity will be released at that point, Faz added.

The person presumed missing last month was an adult male.

The National Park Service has been in close contact with the family of the missing hiker. Park managers thank all the agencies and staff for their assistance in the recovery efforts. Updates to the situation will be made as new information develops

UPDATE: The body has been identified as Bryan Skilinski. Read more here.