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Cause of death determined for couple found dead on Mancos Hill

A couple were found dead in a vehicle parked June 30 on Mancos Hill along U.S. Highway 160.


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A married couple found dead in a vehicle June 30 on Mancos Hill west of Durango died by suicide, Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said Thursday.

Eric Richard Allen, 56, and Yong C. Allen, 56, were discovered in a Ford Expedition on the south shoulder of U.S. Highway 160 about 100 feet west of the La Plata County line.

Richard Allen died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A handgun was recovered.

Yong Allen died from an overdose of Ambien sleeping pills, according to a forensic report released by the Montezuma County Coroner’s Office, Nowlin said. She had a prescription for the pills.

The couple had similar times of death, according to autopsy reports.

The couple were from Roswell, New Mexico. They had recently sold all their belongings and had been on the road for the past year, Nowlin said.

The vehicle had been parked on Mancos Hill for several days. It was not damaged and had not been in a crash. There were no signs of bodily trauma on Yong Allen, and her cause of death was unknown until the forensic report was completed.

A local driver noticed the vehicle had been there for a while and contacted law enforcement on June 30. The couple were discovered the same day.

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