Update: 4:15 p.m. Thursday: The Larimer County Coroner’s Office identified the decedent found Wednesday in the Pingree Park area as Christine E. Cummings, 32, of Fort Collins.
An autopsy was performed with manner and cause of death pending toxicology tests. No foul play is suspected.
Search and rescue teams Wednesday morning located the body of a deceased woman believed to be Christine Cummings, who was last heard from eight days ago.
On Tuesday afternoon, a utility worker reported a vehicle matching the description of the Fort Collins woman’s black Jeep parked at the Emmaline Lake Trailhead, according to a Fort Collins Police Services release. The trailhead is about 3 miles north of the Colorado State University Mountain Campus and about 50 driving miles west of Fort Collins.
Law enforcement responded and confirmed that it was Cummings’ vehicle. Search efforts began immediately and included the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services, Larimer County Search and Rescue, and Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol.
Searchers found the body Wednesday morning while canvassing the area.
The Larimer County Coroner will officially release the woman’s identity, as well as cause and manner of death. Fort Collins police said based on facts and evidence gathered during the investigation, foul play is not suspected.
The news of Cummings’ death hit her friends hard.
“For five days we dreaded getting this news,” said Katelyn Holmes-Taggart, who met Cummings through a church group while Cummings was going to graduate school in Washington, D.C. “And no matter how much you try to prepare yourself for it, you can’t. I just want Christine to know that we tried, tried so hard to be there when she needed us. I just hope that she knew we loved her and that where they found her there was a beautiful view because she loved the outdoors.”
Friend Holly Roberts, who met Cummings with Holmes-Taggart, said as sad as the ending is, she’s thankful their friend was found.
“We have faith in God so we were hoping for a miracle,” Roberts said. “And now that the sleepless, anxious nights are over, we move to reflect on who Christine was and celebrate that we had the opportunity to have her in our lives.”
Roberts said she and Holmes-Taggart hope to travel to Colorado to pay tribute to Cummings and maybe hike the Emmaline Trail to honor their friend.
“I know Christine felt way more at home in Colorado than in D.C.,” Roberts said. “It’s a beautiful place that Christine loved.”
They said Cummings’ last communication was the evening of Dec. 29 when she texted a friend that she returned safely to Fort Collins after visiting family in Granger, Indiana, just outside of South Bend, for Christmas. The friend said a neighbor saw Cummings’ vehicle at her residence that day.
But no one heard from her after that.
Cummings was scheduled for a final divorce hearing Tuesday at the Larimer County Justice Center, according to court records. She and her husband, Marty Humm, filed for divorce Sept. 22. Humm moved from their Fort Collins home to the East Coast in the fall.
Fort Collins police Chief Jeff Swoboda said the outpouring of support in the effort to locate Cummings was touching.
“We share your grief in this tragic loss of life, our deepest condolences are with Christine’s family and everyone impacted by this heartbreaking outcome,” he said in a release.
Anyone with information about this case who has not already spoken to police may contact Detective Marty Shaw at 970-416-2051.
Reporter Miles Blumhardt looks for stories that impact your life. Be it news, outdoors, sports — you name it, he wants to report it. Have a story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MilesBlumhardt. Support his work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.