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The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office on Friday reported that 26-year-old deputy Tayler Esslinger, missing since earlier this week, has been found deceased. Here’s the press release from the sheriff:
It is with great sadness that the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed, from the Garfield County Coroner’s office, that Tayler Esslinger was found deceased in his vehicle this afternoon. We are very heartbroken by today’s turn of events in this discovery. While it was not the outcome we had all been hoping and praying for, these last few days have shown how the circumstances of one individual can pull us together to make us all stronger. The love and support this community has shown in the search for Tayler has been beyond words. This support has been a comfort to his family, friends, co-workers, and the entire community.
We offer our sincerest condolences to the Esslinger family, extended family, and friends. We ask that you respect the family’s privacy during this sorrowful time.
We will have a community briefing this evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Health Science Building at Eagle Valley High School on the East side of the campus. This community briefing will be live-streamed on our Facebook page for those who cannot attend.
Our hearts are hurting and as we begin to mourn Tayler’s loss, we cannot overstate the importance of reaching out to needed resources, such as the Hope Center, that are available to help all of us through this healing process.
For community members seeking counseling assistance, the following resources are available:
Eagle Valley High School | Health Science Building (east side campus)
Numerous community members, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Gypsum Fire Protection District, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Greater Eagle Fire District, Eagle River Fire Protection District, AARF Eagle, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Avon Police Department, Eagle Police Department, US Forest Service, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Vail Mountain Rescue, Northwest Colorado Incident Management Team, Vail Public Safety Communications Center, Eagle County PIO Group, Colorado National Guard High Altitude Aviation Training Site, Multi-Mission Aircraft from Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Salvation Army, Eagle County Emergency Management, Eagle County Public Health, Town of Gypsum, United States Secret Service with technical support, Town of Vail, VTAC-Canine and the Garfield County Coroner’s Office all worked collaboratively on this incident.