Elderly couple who vanished during hike found shot dead

Bodies of Colorado pair discovered with gunshot wounds along popular trail.

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Lee and Stella Vigil
Lee and Stella Vigil
(Colorado Springs Police Department)

An elderly Colorado couple who disappeared while on a hike over the weekend have been found shot dead near a trail, officials said.

Lee and Stella Vigil, both in their 70s, were reported missing around 8:30 p.m. Friday after they failed to return from a hike near Edmundson trailhead in Colorado Springs.

Relatives of the Vigils and El Paso County Search and Rescue officers who arrived at the trail found the couple’s car, news station KKTV reported.

Around four hours later, at 12.30 a.m., police then discovered the couple’s bodies off the Santa Fe trail near Fountain Creek, roughly a three-hour walk from where the Vigils had set off on their hike.

Both had reportedly suffered gunshot wounds.

No further details have been released about the circumstances surrounding the couple’s deaths.

Locals have spoken of their shock and horror at learning of the deaths on a hiking trail popular with couples and families.

“I don’t want my wife to come here alone. She always has to come with me from now on, if we come back,” Morty Zand, who was hiking along the trail on Saturday, told KRDO.

“Up until today I usually feel pretty good. You have to be a little careful; sometimes there are some sketchy people,” Michael Hollenbeck, who recognized the couple, told the outlet. “It’s sad, it’s upsetting. I think I’ve seen them on the trail before.”

Detectives with the homicide unit are currently investigating the two deaths.

The coroner’s findings on cause and manner of death are expected Tuesday.

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