Last week, the Montrose County Office of Medical Investigations confirmed skeletonized remains found Dec. 1 at 59741 Highway 50 in Olathe are definitely those of Gary Goldman, 77.
Goldman was reported missing from Colorow Care Center on July 17, and had been the subject of many hours of searching by the Olathe Police Department, the Montrose County Sheriff's Office, the Montrose County Sheriff's Posse, the Montrose County Coroner's Office of Medical Investigations, Service Dogs of Colorado, Delta County Search and Rescue, Olathe Spray Service, Uncompahgre Valley Water Users, Olathe Fire Department, State of Colorado Fire Control helicopters, Colorow Care Center and multiple other agencies and volunteers with many thousands of dollars of volunteer labor time and equipment utilization.
His niece, Marla Bear Bishop of Paonia, is working with Sunset Mesa Directors to plan a memorial service sometime in the spring or summer. She's also planning to visit the site where his remains were found by a hunter. She understands they were in a small ditch just under a mile from Colorow. "I really want to see the spot," she said, having accepted her uncle's final journey "could not have been good." Most heartbreaking, she said, is the fact that he was missing for hours before a search was launched. "It was so hot, so hot," she said.
She is certain that her uncle wasn't trying to "escape" the facility, but was simply headed out for a walk. "My whole life I saw my uncle walking," she said in an Aug. 16 interview with the DCI.
About seven years ago Bishop, who is Goldman's legal guardian, moved her uncle to Paonia to live at Creek Vista. As his dementia worsened, she moved him to Colorow Care Center in Olathe. He had been there just a couple of months, and was quite happy, when he slipped out the door of the secure memory unit. She said she's gotten conflicting reports about how that occurred.
Goldman's cause and manner of death have been certified as undetermined, due to a lack of physical evidence.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.