In the Aug. 30, 2019 edition of The Flume, former editor Walter Newton reported in a brief article that the remains of an unknown male had been discovered in the Lost Park area near the vicinity of County Highway 77.
The story stated that a shelter had been constructed in the vicinity near where the body was discovered, and at that time, Park County Coroner David Kintz Jr. reported to The Flume that the body had “been there for a significant amount of time.”
Kintz added that circumstantial evidence indicated the deceased man was likely from Michigan, that his family had been notified and that the man’s name would only be released “upon positive scientific identification.”
With the use of DNA samples from the deceased, as well as those from the deceased individual’s son and brother, a positive identification was finally procured July 27 of this year.
The family of Kirk Douglas Morris was notified of the positive identification shortly thereafter. Morris originally hailed from Buchanan, Mich., before moving to, and later being reported as missing from, the Woodland Park area.
Morris had been at the location of his death in the Tarryall Mountain Range for an extended period of time, according to Kintz, where many of his posessions were found inside a shelter he is believed to have constructed.
Kintz believes Morris’ death occurred in mid-December of 2016.
Morris, who would presently be 61-years-old, is survived by one son and two grandaughters.
According to family members, Morris was a free spirit and very much in love with the mountains.
The following was submitted to The Flume by his family:
Kirk was born and raised in Buchanan, Mich., but his heart was always in Colorado.
He was a Heat Treater for Harbor Metal for over 40 years. He had one son (Kirk Morris Jr), daughter in-law (Nikki Morris) and 2 granddaughters (Kali & Caitlyn Morris).
He loved the mountains, and he loved going up Pikes Peak and enjoying the view. He always had to go by Garden of the Gods and take a photo of him “holding up” the Balance Rock. Is was normal for him to take a trip to Colorado often and scope out different mountains, see the land, pan for gold, go camping, He always joked about “going off the grid”.