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Colorado authorities are working to identify the bodies of 3 people found in a national forest but do not suspect foul play

<i>Larry Clouse/CSM/Zuma/File</i><br/>A hiker found the first body Sunday in a remote area of the Gunnison National Forest
Larry Clouse/CSM/Zuma/File
A hiker found the first body Sunday in a remote area of the Gunnison National Forest

By Andi Babineau, CNN

(CNN) — Authorities are working to identify three bodies found decomposing in a remote Colorado campsite, Gunnison County Undersheriff Josh Ashe told CNN.

A hiker found the first body Sunday in a remote area of the Gunnison National Forest, near Gold Creek Campground, Ashe said. The forest is roughly 100 miles west of Colorado Springs.

When deputies responded to the location Monday morning, they found two other bodies that had likely been there for a “substantial period of time,” based on their conditions, Ashe said.

The three individuals may have died of malnutrition or exposure to the elements, Gunnison County Coroner Michael Barnes told CNN.

Barnes said he expects to complete the autopsies Thursday, but preliminarily believes the three people died at some point during the winter.

“At this point it appears that these three individuals began long term camping at the location near Gold Creek Campground in (approximately) mid-late July last Summer 2022 and attempted to stay through the winter,” Barnes said, adding evidence found at the site indicates the group may have planned to live there permanently.

There is nothing so far that indicates the deaths are a result of foul play, according to Ashe.

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