Rio Grande River (copy)

Rio Grande River. Photo courtesy South Fork Fire Rescue via KKTV.

The woman who fell into the snow-melt-swollen south fork of the Rio Grande five days ago has been identified as Roberta Sophia Rodriguez of Colorado Springs, the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday.

Mineral County Search and Rescue are still looking for Rodriguez, who was traveling with a companion Saturday on U.S. 160 over Wolf Creek Pass. The two stopped along the river near mile marker 175½, Sheriff Fred Hosselkus said.

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Rodriguez climbed onto a rock, slipped and fell in, Hosselkus said.

“The area she fell in, you don’t have a chance. You don’t have a chance to get out. There’s no way.”

The search began Saturday evening, he said. Whitewater rescue experts from The Adventure Co. of Buena Vista arrived Monday to help, The South Fork Tines reported.

Mineral County’s stretch of the Rio Grande was “closed to all vessels until further notice” June 11 for “public safety due to high volume of runoff,” the Sheriff’s Office ordered.

Also closed were East Willow Creek above Creede, three campgrounds and a road.

Although the search for the woman continues, Hosselkus said, “The river is just too much right now to put anybody in it, to go (on) dive-outs and look in different holes and different places.”


Multimedia Journalist

Liz is a multimedia journalist with a specific interest in space exploration and environment. She watches way too much Star Trek and is working toward her rescue scuba divers certification. Liz joined the Gazette staff in 2019.

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