Identified! CO - Gunnison Nat’l Forest, 3 Decomposed Bodies, long term camping near Gold Creek Campground, July 2023 - Rebecca & Christine Vance & Boy, 14

The COD for the three campers was reported today by the Colorado Sun. They all died of malnutrition and hypothermia.

The lad weighed only 40#, about half the normal weight for a 14 year old. And he was the one found outside the tent. It makes me wonder if he was the last to perish after trying to survive on his own.

How very tragic and sad. May they rest in peace and be free of suffering.

my 10 year old weighs 79 lbs and is thin as a rail, my 15 year old weights 135 and is also thin as a rail so 40 lbs is way less than half the normal weight. :( poor Talon
 
Talon was 40 lbs. It makes me sick that he died that way.

It often seems people with this type of personality disorder end up using it to abuse their children.

A lot of people are still following these CTs and woo medicine. It's disturbing, but I suppose social media and lack of access to affordable health care plays a part.
 
It often seems people with this type of personality disorder end up using it to abuse their children.

A lot of people are still following these CTs and woo medicine. It's disturbing, but I suppose social media and lack of access to affordable health care plays a part.
Yes , I think they abuse their children because, to all intents and purposes, they own their children. Other people defer to that right of ownership.

Perhaps Rebecca can be seen as a sort of mini-cult leader. Her fear of authority and society became a monomania 'trust no one but me'.

Also, so odd that they had never gone camping before, especially living in Colorado.

For example, it appears they didn't buy insulated sleeping pads or foam beds, but apparently just slept on quilts...? That would have been extremely uncomfortable and cold from Day 1.

I guess, never underestimate what a deluded mind is capable of doing.

JMO
 
my 10 year old weighs 79 lbs and is thin as a rail, my 15 year old weights 135 and is also thin as a rail so 40 lbs is way less than half the normal weight. :( poor Talon
I weighed 35 pounds in first grade. (I think that's when it was)

However, I was skinny and very small.

I weighed 100 when I was 14.

I'm now 5'0" feet tall and weigh 100.
This kid must have been really underweight.
 
I wonder how long it took him to starve to death? I can't even imagine as a parent watching your child slowly die for several weeks. I feel bad when we've been gone and are an hour later than usual for a meal.

So at some point the mom and aunt took his dead body out of the tent, then went back in and stayed until they died. Unfathomable, it's without fathom.
 
A journalist has delved into this story, and produced a lot of answers to questions on this
thread:

Since this excellent article (and associated audio version) may not be free access in the future, and is quite long, I'll highlight a few things

- The mother was deeply into Covid-enflamed conspiracy theories and (eventually) persuaded her sister to believe them too.
- They'd had jobs and an apartment that they abandoned
- The boy had spent a lot of time with his father, father's mother and father's other children, although there was no custody on that side.
- The mother lied to the boy's father/grandmother that they were moving to live elsewhere.
- The sister texted the stepsister a lot until they left, that's how the stepsister knew they'd gone off grid.
- they had a car, and took a trip to town in October to resupply. The car was found by Forest Service and eventually towed.
-The author thinks Giardisis was likely an issue leading them to starve.
-the boy likely died first.

JMO
Thank you for linking this article. A very sad read indeed. Poor lad.

R.I.P.
 
A journalist has delved into this story, and produced a lot of answers to questions on this
thread:

Since this excellent article (and associated audio version) may not be free access in the future, and is quite long, I'll highlight a few things

- The mother was deeply into Covid-enflamed conspiracy theories and (eventually) persuaded her sister to believe them too.
- They'd had jobs and an apartment that they abandoned
- The boy had spent a lot of time with his father, father's mother and father's other children, although there was no custody on that side.
- The mother lied to the boy's father/grandmother that they were moving to live elsewhere.
- The sister texted the stepsister a lot until they left, that's how the stepsister knew they'd gone off grid.
- they had a car, and took a trip to town in October to resupply. The car was found by Forest Service and eventually towed.
-The author thinks Giardisis was likely an issue leading them to starve.
-the boy likely died first.

JMO
wow thanks for the article!!! i read it all.
why the no socks no shoes on any 3 bodies? weird.
i think it's poignant and important the author mentions how becky didn't want her son to grow up whatsoever :/

"several pairs of soiled women’s underwear (strewn around the camp)," makes it sound like they were starting to go crazy....
 
Without being too graphic, I wonder how much their bodies had decomposed before they were finally found.

Quite a lot, from the sounds of it. It mentions most of Talon's organs not being present at autopsy. They can still make pretty good estimates of weight at time of death.

MOO
he is described as a "mummy" in the article :((
 
the []s are my addition.
i feel horrible for dad & grandma & talon's cousins.

The Burdens haven’t planned a funeral. They don’t know where to start. Friends tell Marilyn [Talon's grandmother], “Just find a venue.” “And I’m like, ‘You have to understand, he was a child.’ They say he was 14, but he was 13 when he passed. He didn’t even make it to 14.”

Eric [Talon's father], too, strains to make a cogent narrative of Talon’s death. “You kind of, like, you got the beginning of the story, and you have the end.”

The coroner thinks the family had died by late December. Marilyn’s mind can’t settle to mourn. “What was Talon doing during the day? At night? I’ve been camping. You know — after a while, you go to bed.” Snow pants. Did he have snow pants? He’d outgrown the ones she bought him. “Talon was warm-blooded, but everyone gets cold, eventually.”

Why go in August? Were they planning on doing something different if they made it through the winter? Was this murder-suicide? “If you’re gonna do something like that, then … I don’t know, maybe I’m crude, but just do it. Why suffer that much?”

Talon’s ashes are in a black box in the Burdens’ living room. Beside the box is a painting by Talon’s half-sister, Emma: a Mario with wings. A Mario action figure stands in front. The stuffed blue raccoon rests on top.
 
the []s are my addition.
i feel horrible for dad & grandma & talon's cousins.

The Burdens haven’t planned a funeral. They don’t know where to start. Friends tell Marilyn [Talon's grandmother], “Just find a venue.” “And I’m like, ‘You have to understand, he was a child.’ They say he was 14, but he was 13 when he passed. He didn’t even make it to 14.”

Eric [Talon's father], too, strains to make a cogent narrative of Talon’s death. “You kind of, like, you got the beginning of the story, and you have the end.”

The coroner thinks the family had died by late December. Marilyn’s mind can’t settle to mourn. “What was Talon doing during the day? At night? I’ve been camping. You know — after a while, you go to bed.” Snow pants. Did he have snow pants? He’d outgrown the ones she bought him. “Talon was warm-blooded, but everyone gets cold, eventually.”

Why go in August? Were they planning on doing something different if they made it through the winter? Was this murder-suicide? “If you’re gonna do something like that, then … I don’t know, maybe I’m crude, but just do it. Why suffer that much?”

Talon’s ashes are in a black box in the Burdens’ living room. Beside the box is a painting by Talon’s half-sister, Emma: a Mario with wings. A Mario action figure stands in front. The stuffed blue raccoon rests on top.
This is just absolutely heartbreaking. I’m so sad for Talons family. I can’t even imagine trying to comprehend what happened.

I was thinking of my just turned 14 year old and how much he’s grown in the last 6-12 months like most early teens, how much his appetite has increased, it had to be so excruciating for Talon.

You have to wonder if he asked to go to his dad’s or grandma’s.
 
wow thanks for the article!!! i read it all.
why the no socks no shoes on any 3 bodies? weird.
i think it's poignant and important the author mentions how becky didn't want her son to grow up whatsoever :/

"several pairs of soiled women’s underwear (strewn around the camp)," makes it sound like they were starting to go crazy....
I think the soiled underwear was just due to the Giardia. They would have had constant diarrhea and at the end I doubt that they had the strength to wash their underwear.

Not sure why the socks were missing. Perhaps they needed to use them for other purposes.
 
OMG - what a terribly tragic story. They really must have suffered so badly. I wish there was a way to keep the conspiracy nutcases off the internet. It seems Becky fell down a rabbit hole. While that may not always end in this level of tragedy, so much damage has been caused in recent years. Preying on mentally fragile people should be illegal.
 
A journalist has delved into this story, and produced a lot of answers to questions on this
thread:
RSBM

Thank you SO MUCH @Cedars for finding and posting this article. I had walked away from this case with many unanswered questions so I am very appreciative of Elizabeth Weil's excellent investigative journalism.

There are a few statements in the article that I find troubling. The first is something I, and many others here, struggled with soon after the Vance's bodies were found: "Nobody thought to file a missing-person report. Nobody thought to call Child Protective Services — Becky had always been a good, if overprotective, mom."

Hindsight is 20-20 of course, and our legal system protects citizens from unnecessary intervention in family matters. I get that. But it just strikes me that folks knew Becky and Christine had talked about moving off the grid, and they were extremely unprepared to do so. So I guess I'll always wonder why no one took a chance and called authorities.

The second statement in the article that alarmed me was: "On November 25, the United States Forest Service noted that a car had been abandoned in Gunnison National Forest “off FSR 771 (Gold Creek).” The incident report notes: “Searched area … UTL [unable to locate]. CSP Dispatch tried two phone numbers to both registered owners … Both disconnected. Attempting welfare check.” On November 28, the car was towed."

Couple that with the statement, "The coroner thinks the family had died by late December", and now I can't help but wonder if the family had been alive when their car was towed and were inadvertently stranded. And IF someone had filed a missing person's report that fall, perhaps the car's license plate would have been flagged before they died.

Anyhow, none of this will help bring this family back or stop this horrific tragedy. I just thought I'd share my observations. And I'll walk away from this case again, knowing they, especially Talon, is free from suffering.

All IMO.
 
Very sad. If so, perhaps the park service will consider doing a search of the area before removing a car like that.
In fairness, that's exactly what the Forest Service did.

On November 25, the United States Forest Service noted that a car had been abandoned in Gunnison National Forest “off FSR 771 (Gold Creek).” The incident report notes: “Searched area … UTL [unable to locate]. CSP Dispatch tried two phone numbers to both registered owners … Both disconnected. Attempting welfare check.” On November 28, the car was towed.
(bolded by me)

I don't know what else they could have done.
 

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