Sheepherder finds remains of woman missing since November on trailhead, CO cops say

Remains found on a Colorado trailhead by a sheepherder have been identified as a missing woman, deputies say.

Samantha Bartolo, 40, was first reported missing by family on Nov. 12, the Delta County Sheriff’s Office said in a Feb. 28 news release.

At the time, her family told deputies they had not seen Bartolo, who lived in a “camp trailer near the Gunnison Gorge Conservation area” east of Delta, in two days, according to a Nov. 14 Facebook post.

Search and rescue teams from multiple agencies scoured the area but did not find Bartolo, deputies said.

Months later, a sheepherder trekking an “area of Smith Mountain Trailhead east of Delta” on Feb. 18 found human remains, deputies said.

An autopsy was done, deputies said, adding that forensic pathology helped identify the remains as Bartolo.

“We have been deeply affected by her absence and loss,” Bartolo’s family wrote on a post shared to a Facebook page dedicated to her disappearance. “Samantha brought love and light to every room she was ever in. Being able to know and love her for all of her 40 years was a true honor.”

While the final autopsy report, which will include Bartolo’s cause of death, is forthcoming, her death is considered “suspicious,” deputies said.

Anyone with information that could help in Bartolo’s death investigation is asked to contact deputies at 970-874-2000.

Delta is about 250 miles west of Colorado Springs.

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