Colorado authorities believe they have found the remains of a Chicago hiker missing since October 2010, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Department in Eagle County, Colorado.
Authorities said a camper found an abandoned campsite near Holy Cross City, a ghost town in the White River National Forest near Minturn, Colo., Friday. The next day, police hiked to the location, apparently the camp site used by James Nelson, 31, of Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood, and found human remains, authorities said.
Nelson's fiance reported him missing in October 2010 after he failed to return from his five-day, 25-mile hike of the Holy Cross Wilderness Area.
A notebook found at the campsite shows Nelson may have been suffering from altitude sickness at the time of his disappearance, according to the news release. Police said some of Nelson's gear is missing, including a camera, GPS unit and a camping stove.
The human remains have been turned over to the Eagle County Coroner's Office. The coroner could not be immediately reached.
Police said they will search the area with a cadaver dog in the future but did not specify when.
Nelson's family could not be immediately reached. On his Facebook page Nelson's father writes "My son has been found, may peace be with our family."
Nelson was working on a Ph.D. in religion and planned to teach theology at a university, his mother told the Tribune in 2010.
Matthew Frizzell, Nelson's former classmate at Chicago Theological Seminary, said he hoped for a different outcome, though the discovery of the site may help Nelson's loved ones find peace.
"I'm hopeful the family and all of James' loved ones can find some peace of mind and perhaps proper grief and move on with a loss that really can't be replaced," he said.
Twitter: @schlikermanCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun