Witnesses sought in death of former Ridge wrestler

07/28/2014 7:31 PM

07/28/2014 7:32 PM

Colorado investigators are seeking witnesses who may have been in the area where a former Fossil Ridge High School wrestling champion was found dead, hanging from a tree branch in April.

The puzzling death of Dammion Heard, 20, was ruled a suicide.

In a news release Monday, Gunnison, Colo., police said that other people could have been on Bureau of Land Management land near where Heard’s body was found. Anyone who may have been on Cabin Creek Road near U.S. 50 east of Gunnison from March 30 to April 2 is asked to contact authorities.

Police are awaiting results of forensic testing by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation on evidence at the scene.

Heard was found dead April 2 near his vehicle on Cabin Creek Road about eight miles east of Gunnison, which is about 200 miles southwest of Denver.

At Fossil Ridge in the Keller school district, Heard won the Class 5A state wrestling championship in the 113-pound division. He was on the wrestling team at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison.

Earlier this month, Gunnison police reported that an autopsy found that the cause of Heard’s death was hanging and the manner of death was suicide. No evidence of other injuries was found. The autopsy found that Heard had LSD and marijuana in his system when he died, police said.

His father, Gary Heard of Fort Worth, said Monday that he continued to disagree with the suicide ruling in his son’s death.

He has hired a Colorado attorney and private investigator to look into the case. Also, he said, he hired AIT Laboratories in Indianapolis to conduct toxicology tests. The lab found no drugs in his son’s system.

“I had heard [Gunnison police] were looking for other witnesses,” Heard said Monday. “A witness told us somebody was near the area, trying to hide at the time [Dammion] was there, but I don’t know about others.

“Bikes were locked near there, so maybe somebody was out on the trails.”

In previous interviews, Heard said that his son had been upbeat and there was nothing in his past to indicate he was thinking of suicide.

Heard said he last talked to his son on March 29, and based on witnesses’ accounts, his son got into a small altercation a few hours later at a party. Heard didn’t hear from his son for the next two days and filed a missing person report April 1.

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