IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Clear Creek County authorities were awaiting the results of an autopsy on an 18-year-old cross-country jogger to determine if he was killed by a mountain lion.
An Alpine Rescue Team found the body of Scott Dale Lancaster on Wednesday. Another searcher sighted a mountain lion about 100 feet away and the cat was tracked down and killed.
"We're 99 percent sure this guy was attacked by a mountain lion," said Stuart C. Nay, Idaho Springs police chief and deputy coroner. An autopsy will determine whether he indeed died because of the cougar's attack or died beforehand and the body later was attacked by the animal, said Diana VanVoorst, spokesman for the sheriff's department.
Lancaster, a senior at Clear Creek Secondary School, was reported missing after he failed to return from a cross-country jogging run Monday. His body was found less than a mile from the school.
Of 52 documented mountain lion attacks in the last 100 years in the United States and Canada, only 10 were fatal, said Paul Beier, a wildlife researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. "With one exception, all killed were under the age of 14," Beier said.