Search for 5-year-old boy in far South Routt County ends in tragedy |

Search for 5-year-old boy in far South Routt County ends in tragedy

Matt Stensland

— A 5-year-old boy died Thursday after wandering away from his parents and being found in a pond near a ranch in the southernmost part of Routt County, according to an Eagle County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

The identity of the child was not immediately available.

On Thursday afternoon, the Routt County Sheriff’s Office was told about the search for the child at the Copper Spur Ranch off Copper Spur Road near the Eagle County line. It initially was unclear whether the search area was in Routt or Eagle, and Eagle officials led the search effort.

Routt County Search and Rescue, a Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputy and Sheriff Garrett Wiggins responded once it was determined the search area included Routt County.

The boy was found about 10 minutes before Routt’s four-member Search and Rescue team arrived, Search and Rescue Incident Commander Kristia Check-Hill said.

Eagle County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jessie Mosher said that after the boy was found, he was given CPR on the way to Vail Valley Medical Center, where he later was pronounced dead.

Sheriff Wiggins did not immediately return a message left Thursday night about the incident.

Brita Horn, a South Routt rancher who also serves as fire chief of the rural Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Eagle County and is the Routt County treasurer, said numerous agencies were involved with the search, including her agency and help from the National Guard, which provided aerial support.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email


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