Body recovered of missing woman


ALAMOSA COUNTY — Search and rescue personnel recovered the body of missing visitor Selene Jara, 29, Tuesday afternoon in the vicinity of South Zapata Lake.

Jara had last been seen about 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon, April 29, on the trail to Zapata Lake.

Jara, her husband, who is from Antonito, and two daughters had been visiting the Zapata Falls area on Sunday afternoon when her family got tired and went back to their vehicle, and Jara continued on up to the lake by herself. She was reported missing when she did not return that evening.

Searchers had been looking for the missing woman, who was from Mexico, since that time, and almost exactly two days since she went missing, her body was discovered about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1.

“It was rough country,” Alamosa County Sheriff Robert Jackson said of the site where Jara’s body was found.

The details of what happened that led to her death are still not clear, according to Sheriff Jackson who said an autopsy would be performed on the body.

Sheriff Jackson said searchers on Tuesday tracked small footprints believed to have been Jara’s and could see where she apparently fell down and skidded down an embankment. He said it appeared she “was on the move” and may have become disoriented with the altitude or other factors, because there were one or two cabins she could have gone into to wait to be rescued but did not.

Custer County was in charge of the incident command center on Tuesday, with probably 20 people involved in the search and recovery efforts on that day alone, Jackson said. Search and rescue team members from multiple counties assisted with the efforts.

The retrieval of the body was slow and arduous on Tuesday, requiring many hours and much effort, according to the sheriff who said when the recovery team arrived at the base, it was a somber and respectful arrival. Deputy Alamosa County Coroner Rob Alejo handled the coroner’s call, a positive identification was made of the missing woman, and family was notified of her death.