An Aurora woman died in an Aspen hotel room Sunday from a gunshot wound that led police to call in the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, but by the end of the day Monday, after all of the woman’s companions had been questioned, police had not detained anyone and indicated that the shot may have been self-inflicted.
Stacia DeKraker, 18, was visiting Aspen with a group of about five other friends, according to Aspen police spokeswoman Blair Weyer. They had checked into the Mountain House Lodge on Sunday. At 7:20 p.m., one of the companions called 911, reporting that DeKraker had suffered a gunshot wound and was unresponsive. Aspen police, fire and ambulance responded, and soon after, a detective and coroner were dispatched to the scene, where DeKraker was pronounced dead.
Due to local law enforcement’s relative inexperience with firearm fatalities, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was called in to assist and make sure everything was done correctly, Weyer said. CBI agents arrived at 3:30 a.m. Monday.
State and local cops spent most of the day at the Mountain House, collecting evidence and interviewing both DeKraker’s friends and other guests who were present when the incident occurred. All of DeKraker’s companions were cooperative and they were free to leave town as of Monday evening, Weyer said.
Weyer said the gun used in the shooting was a handgun. She declined comment on who owned the gun, or what it was doing in the hotel.
Police obtained a search warrant for the room where DeKraker was found, as well as another room in the lodge her group had rented.
An autopsy is scheduled for today, Weyer said.
Little is known about DeKraker. Someone in her group had a mutual friend who lives in the area, Weyer said. Police detectives have spoken with relatives, she added. According to a LinkedIn profile, DeKraker worked as a clerical assistant at a Denver law firm. Representatives at the firm declined to comment.
Police issued a statement mid-day Monday that said they “treat all death investigations as homicides until the evidence shows us otherwise.” The statement also sought to “reassure the public that nothing in this investigation has indicated that there is any additional public safety concern.”
The statement also directs anyone who “is struggling with a difficult time in their life” to contact the Aspen Hope Center’s 24-hour help line at (970) 925-5858.