Wednesday, July 26, 2023

3 Campers Found Dead At Remote Colorado Campsite Were Trying To Live 'Off The Grid'

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The three former Colorado Springs residents found dead at a Gunnison County campsite were attempting to live “off the grid” — namely, to get as far from civilization as possible, according to a relative who knew them well. Rebecca Vance, 42, Christine Vance, 41, and Rebecca’s 14-year-old son were found July 9 at a remote camping area in Gunnison County when a hiker discovered the badly decomposed remains of one of the campers and notified authorities. Gunnison County deputies later found the other two bodies in similarly advanced states of decomposition.Trevala Jara, Rebecca and Christine’s stepsister, said the two women told her of their plans last year. “(Rebecca) was fearful of a lot of things with the way she thought the world was going,” said Jara, who grew up with Christine and Rebecca. “She was actually trying to save her son, and our sister.” In early August, a couple of days before they set off for Gunnison, the Vance sisters stopped by Jara’s home in Security to drop off some family possessions and “to say goodbye,” Jara said. While they were there, Jara and her husband, Tommy, attempted to talk them out of leaving. “We tried to stop them,” Jara said. “But they wouldn’t listen. Their minds were made up.” 

 The campers told no one but Jara and her husband what they were planning to do. "But they wouldn't tell us where they were going," she said. Jara was concerned that her sisters and nephew were courting danger, particularly because they had no outdoor survival experience. “You can’t go on the internet and watch videos on how to live off the grid, and then actually do it, if you have no experience,” Jara said. “You just can’t do that. They died of starvation because they weren’t prepared.” “There’s an RV there, and we have a generator, and there’s a general store not far away,” Jara said. “We offered it to them so they could at least practice before going out there on their own.” Christine seemed inclined to take them up on their offer, “but Becky didn’t want to,” Jara said. Jara was notified of their deaths on July 11, two days after they were found, she said. “When I got the call, I didn’t want to believe it,” she said. “I didn’t want to believe they were gone.” Jara remembers her sisters as “wonderful people” with markedly different personalities. Christine was more lively and outgoing, while Rebecca was quieter and more guarded, with a tendency to brood. “Ever since we were kids, she did not like to be around people,” Jara said. “She was a huge introvert. She didn’t trust anybody. She liked to be by herself — and with Christine.” Jara said she didn’t agree with Rebecca’s belief that the world was spinning out of control, but in the end, “all I could do was try to support them.” “They weren’t crazy. Becky wasn’t crazy,” Jara said. “She believed she was doing what she needed to do to save her son.” Source

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