BY Rick Langenberg:
Woodland Park Police are still investigating a suspicious death, involving the discovery of a 34-year-old woman, found Saturday morning outside a driveway of a residence.
The body was found face down in the snow about 10:30 a.m., near the intersection of Forest Edge Circle and Forest Hill Road. A call was prompted by a discovery made by a young boy, who alerted his parents of a body in the driveway. The boy’s parents called 911 and emergency service authorities were summoned to the scene.
The woman, Joey Michelle Carlson, had lived in the area since at least 2006, according to police records.
According to Woodland Park Police Chief Bob Larson, authorities don’t believe foul play was involved in her death. On Monday, he said the police are awaiting the detailed results of autopsy and toxicology reports and are interviewing friends and acquaintances of the victim.
“There was no sign of trauma or assault,” said Larson. The preliminary autopsy report indicated that Carlson froze to death. On Monday evening, Teller County Coroner Al Born confirmed that Carlson died of hypothermia, but he said officials are still investigating the details surrounding her death. Born declined to comment on how long she had been dead when officials discovered her body.
He said officials are doing a full toxicology inquiry, the results of which won’t be finalized for four or five weeks
A full toxicology report will determine if drugs or alcohol were contributing factors in Carlson’s death.
Larson conceded that her death by freezing was suspicious, even though the area had experienced record-breaking low temperatures. When her body was discovered, the victim was reportedly wearing only pants, a bra and shoes, and there was a purse next to her. A blanket, which didn’t belong to the victim, was placed on top of her to help preserve the scene.
The police are actively pursuing the case, which is being treated as a suspicious death. Besides the Woodland Park Police, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney’s Office are involved in the investigation.
The victim is survived by an ex-husband, who now lives in Colorado Springs, and three children, according to Larson. Her parents live out-of-state.
According to the police chief, Carlson lived near the residence where she was found. The police chief said Carlson resided in variety of residences throughout the area during her time in Woodland Park.
Initial reports have indicated that some of the neighbors in the Forest Edge subdivision knew the victim, including the owners of the residence where she was discovered.
The death of Carlson marks the second time in the last few years that a woman has died due to hypothermia during the early winter season in this section of Woodland Park.