Human Remains Found at Camp Linked to Missing Chicago Man

James Nelson disappeared in October 2010 while hiking in Colorado

By Alexandra Clark
|  Sunday, May 27, 2012  |  Updated 4:25 PM CDT
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Search Intensifies for Missing Chicago Hiker

On Friday, a hiker discovered an abandoned camp site that authorities believe was used by James Nelson, the missing Chicagoan who disappeared while hiking in October 2010.

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Search Intensifies for Missing Chicago Hiker

James Nelson went missing in the Colorado mountains Friday.
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Authorities in Colorado found human remains next to an abandoned camp site they believe was used by a Chicago hiker who has been missing for nearly two years.

James Nelson of Chicago was last seen by two hikers on Oct. 3, 2010, while on a five-day, 25-mile hike of Mount Holy Cross.  He was reported missing by his fiancée five days later.

On Friday a hiker discovered an abandoned camp site near Holy Cross City, according to a release from the Eagle County Sheriff’s office in Colorado. The next day detectives joined with Vail Mountain Rescue to investigate the site which appears to be Nelson’s camp site, the release said.

A notebook found at the site indicated that Nelson may have been suffering from altitude sickness when he disappeared, stated the release. Authorities say some of Nelson’s gear is missing including a camera, GPS unit and a camp stove.

Police have turned over the remains to the Eagle County Coroner’s Office for analysis and identification, according to the release.

Nelson, who was 31 when he disappeared, considered himself to be an experienced back-country hiker and posted his qualifications on the Chicago Backpackers Meetup Group. That experience may have been put to the test while he was hiking in the Colorado Rockies.

At an altitude of 9,000 to 14,000 feet, the Holy Cross Wilderness Area is made up of some the most rugged terrain in Colorado. Experts in the field discourage individuals from searching on their own.

Vail Mountain Rescue is scheduling future searches of the area utilizing a cadaver dog, the release said.
 

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