Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire says the young man found dead Saturday at Glenwood Caverns has been identified as 20-year-old Diego Barajas Medina, of Carbondale.
In an afternoon press conference, Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said Medina may have taken his own life rather than carry out an apparent plan to kill others. Medina was found in a women’s restroom by a Glenwood Caverns employee just as they were preparing to open the park for the day. Vallario says an AR-style rifle and a handgun were found in the restroom along with several fake and real explosive devices which were later disposed of through controlled detonation by the Grand Junction Bomb Squad. All of the guns appeared to be so-called “ghost guns” which have no serial numbers and are untraceable.
The Bomb Squad and Garfield County All-Hazards Response Team searched the Caverns property with park management to ensure that there were no other explosive devices. The FBI assisted in the investigation, along with police departments in Glenwood and Carbondale.
Medina was reportedly wearing tactical gear, including body armor and a tactical helmet, and was found with law enforcement-style patches on his clothes. Vallario declined to be more specific about the type of patches, or whether they were genuine. Medina is not believed to have been associated with any law enforcement or similar organization. It’s believed he had not had previous contact with law enforcement.
Medina was living with his mother and brother in Carbondale and was previously a student at Roaring Fork High School. Members of his family are receiving assistance from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Victims Advocates.
Vallario says as common as gun violence seems to be, it’s not something you expect to see here.
Officials believe there is no longer any threat to the community.
Help is available for anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide:
National Life Line: 988
Colorado Crisis Services: 1-844-493-8255 (24 hours) or text: Talk to 38255
Garfield Hopeline: 970-945-3728 (24 hours)
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (24 hours)