Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

‘Extremely lucky’: Disaster averted at Glenwood Caverns in Colorado after body, guns and bombs discovered Saturday

Hotels near Iron Mountain, site of the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The adventure park is accessible only by gondola. (Dreamstime/TNS)
November 01, 2023

Garfield County law enforcement described an averted disaster after the body of a 20-year-old man was found alongside guns and bombs in a bathroom at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on Saturday morning.

Maintenance crews found the man’s body in a women’s bathroom while getting ready to open the park, Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said during a virtual news conference Monday afternoon.

It appears the man died as a result of suicide, Vallario said, though the official cause and manner of death and the man’s identity will be released by the Garfield County Coroner’s Office.

“We had the potential for something heinous and gruesome to happen in this community and we were fortunate that it did not occur, but it certainly, for lack of a better term, took away the innocence of our community,” Vallario said on a Zoom call with reporters.

Vallario did not say whether the investigation had yet uncovered any specific plans the man might have made.

“We are extremely lucky he did not fulfill whatever plan he had intended,” Vallario said.

The man, who was from Carbondale, was dressed in black tactical clothing and had a rifle, pistol, pipe bombs and fake grenades with him, Vallario said.

The man likely broke into the park by driving up an access road, Vallario said. Glenwood Caverns is only accessible to the public by gondola.

The man’s body was discovered prior to the opening of the park and was not related to any of the rides at the park, according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials said the unidentified man was from the Carbondale area, but did not release his name.

The sheriff’s office said he entered the park after hours without authorization.

According to the release, investigators discovered multiple improvised explosive devices with the suspect and in his vehicle.

“While this investigation is still ongoing and very active it is important to realize that given the amount of weaponry, ammunition and explosive devices found, the suspect could have implemented an attack of devastating proportions upon our community and first responders,” sheriff’s officials said in the news release.

The adventure park closed Saturday and remained closed for two days while police and other first responders combed the property and made sure the Caverns were safe to reopen.

The Grand Junction Bomb Squad responded to the scene Saturday and were able to disarm the explosive devices.

According to the news release, once the bombs were disabled, the Glenwood Adventure Caverns property was swept by members of the bomb squad and operators from the Garfield County All Hazard Response Team to ensure no other explosives had been planted around the park or rides.

As of Monday afternoon, the investigation so far has indicated that nobody in the public is at risk and the suspect’s actions were limited to the property of the Glenwood Caverns.

The man’s cause and manner of death have not been released pending a final report from the coroner’s office.

According to the sheriff’s office’s statement, the initial two days of the investigation were carried out in a slow, methodical manner to search both the property and the suspect’s residence to ensure the safety of the public and to determine the extent of his criminal activity.

The investigation is ongoing and involves the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the Grand Junction Bomb Squad, Garfield County All Hazard Response Team, the Carbondale Police Department, the Garfield County Coroner and the FBI.

In September 2021, the park closed for several days after a 6-year-old girl died on the park’s Haunted Mine Drop attraction.


© 2023 MediaNews Group, Inc

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.