Toxicology results show a 40-year-old Bayfield woman found dead in January along Florida Road died of alcohol poisoning.
The Durango Police Department responded to a report of a dead body the morning of Jan. 13 in the 1600 block of Florida Road. Authorities identified the body as Melissa Bales, who lived with her husband and son in Forest Lakes subdivision, north of Bayfield.
Preliminary autopsy results showed no signs to suggest Bales was hit by a car or assaulted, ruling out suspicion of foul play.
She had several cuts and bruises caused by falling on the side of the road, said La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith.
“She had a few marks on her, but she fell onto some rocks and that’s what caused them,” Smith said. “It wasn’t trauma marks.”
Toxicology results show Bales’ blood-alcohol level was 0.339, which is more than four times the legal 0.08 driving limit in Colorado. Outside exposure was not a contributing factor to her death, Smith said.
She said Bales had a history of alcoholism.
Bales’ family did not know why she was in the area, about 18 miles from her home, Smith said.
“We just don’t know why she was there,” Smith said.
According to her LinkedIn account, Bales was the owner of Mac Works Consulting in Bayfield. She previously worked for Chimera Communications, Basin Printing & Imaging and the Durango Chamber of Commerce.
Efforts to reach Bales’ family on Friday for comment were unsuccessful.