A drug overdose was the cause of death for a man whose body was recovered from a waterway in Fountain last month, according to the El Paso County coroner.
A person walking their dog spotted the body lying face-down in a tributary to Fountain Creek on Feb. 8. Recovery took hours as a team of firefighters, Colorado Bureau of Investigation agents and Fountain police officers struggled to navigate the rugged and steep terrain to access the body.
The body was submerged in 2 to 3 feet of water. A layer of ice covered the man's back.
That man, identified as 27-year-old Nathaniel Ryan Vialpando, had not been seen since December after he ran from the scene of a car chase and subsequent crash, police report. Vialpando also had outstanding arrest warrants at the time.
The Coroner's Office found no trauma to Vialpando's body, and attribute "methamphetamine intoxication" to his death. They weren't able to determine if drowning or hypothermia also played a role. The death was ruled accidental.
Police are still looking for information about this case, and ask that anyone who believes they can help to call investigators at 382-6936, or Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.