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Anonymous tip leads to discovery of human remains at Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park is located in southwestern area of Colorado. (Photo/Adobe Stock)

Mesa Verde National Park is located in southwestern area of Colorado. (Photo/Adobe Stock)

MESA VERDE, CO. — An anonymous tip submitted to the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB) led to the discovery of human remains in a remote area of Mesa Verde National Park.

Park Law Enforcement Rangers, with assistance from ISB and Montezuma County Coroner’s Office located and retrieved the remains Sept. 17. Personal items located with the remains are consistent with identification, and the presumptive identity of the remains is that of Mitchell Dale Stehling who went missing in the park June 9, 2013. DNA analysis will be performed to positively identify the remains.

There is no indication of foul play. The remains were found approximately 4.2 miles from the point where Stehling was last seen.

“Our thoughts are with the family, and we appreciate the help and support over the past seven years from park staff, community search and rescue and law enforcement groups, and the public in this case,” the park stated.

The National Park Service Investigate Branch Tip Line can be reached by phone or text message at 888-653-0009, email at nps_isb@nps.gov or online at https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1563/submit-a-tip.htm. Tips can be made anonymously.

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