GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (KREX) — Garfield County Sheriff’s office gave Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park the all-clear to reopen after a maintenance crew member called in a deceased male prior to opening October 28.
The suspect has been identified as 20-year-old Carbondale resident Diego Barajas Medina. He was dressed in black tactical clothing with patches that gave the appearance of being associated with law enforcement, body armor, and what appeared to be a ballistic helmet. He was also heavily armed with a semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic handgun and multiple loaded magazines for both weapons. Authorities believe the guns to be ghost guns, unregulated, unserialized and untraceable weapons that can be purchased and built without a formal background check.
Additionally, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were discovered with the suspect and in a vehicle associated with the suspect. Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said in a press conference that some of the IEDs found were fake and some were real.
The Grand Junction Bomb Squad was called to the scene and performed a controlled detonation; no other explosives were found in law enforcement’s search of the park.
Garfield County Coroner’s Office completed their autopsy October 30. The scene investigation and forensic autopsy suggest that Medina died by suicide, and the coroner’s office is investigating the manner of death as a suicide.
The suspect was found in a women’s restroom stall. A formal note was not left, but investigators found a note on the wall behind the stall’s door that read, “I am not a killer, I just wanted to get into the caves.” It is unclear whether the note was left by the suspect.
Monday’s press conference closed with a note to the public from Sheriff Vallario. “We don’t need to be terrified, we don’t need to be afraid to do anything, we just need to be vigilant and pay attention to our surroundings.”
The investigation is ongoing, and Garfield County Sheriff’s Office will release updated information as they receive it. Garfield County Coroner’s office will release identifying information in accordance with their policies and procedures.