Two women and a teenage boy have been found dead at a remote campsite in the Rocky Mountain region. Autopsies revealed that Christine Vance, her sister Rebecca Vance, and Rebecca’s son likely succumbed to malnutrition and hypothermia after fleeing into the wilderness unprepared to survive off the grid. The discovery of the 14-year-old boy’s body clutching his stepsister’s rosary only added to the heart-wrenching nature of the incident. As authorities continue to investigate, questions remain about the motivations that led the family to go on this deadly journey.
The bodies of the two women and the teenage boy were found by a hiker who had strayed off the trail in July. The Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office later uncovered the women’s bodies when they searched the campsite and unzipped the tent. The autopsies indicated that the trio had been deceased for some time, with no food found at their camp. The harsh conditions, including several feet of snow and subzero temperatures, likely contributed to their demise. Authorities have not released the boy’s identity.
Trevala Jara, the stepsister of the deceased women, revealed that they had chosen to live off the grid since the fall of 2021. They believed that societal changes, exacerbated by the pandemic and politics, had brought out the worst in humanity. While they were not conspiracy theorists, Rebecca Vance held the belief that the world was on the brink of an end, prompting their desire to distance themselves from society’s influences.
Jara described Rebecca Vance as reserved yet intellectually sharp, capable of devouring a 1,000-page book within days. Her son, who was homeschooled, possessed a remarkable aptitude for mathematics. Christine Vance, on the other hand, was more outgoing and charismatic. Initially hesitant about the idea of escaping society, she ultimately changed her mind to ensure her sister and nephew would not be alone.
The sisters informed others that they were traveling to another state for a family emergency but did not disclose their intended campsite location to Jara. They relied on YouTube videos to prepare for their wilderness adventure, but their lack of adequate preparation became evident. Jara, who tried everything in her power to dissuade them from leaving, now hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of surviving in the wilderness.