Bone Fragments Found in Search for 91-Year-Old Who Went Back for Dogs During Colorado Fire

Investigators found bone fragments at the remains of a Colorado home destroyed in December's Marshall Fire and are currently working to identify them.

The property belonged to 91-year-old Edna Nadine Turnbull, who has been missing since the fire, Denver's KMGH-TV reported. The Boulder County Sheriff's Office said that while Turnbull was told to evacuate, she went back into the home to try to save her dogs.

Ever since, investigators had been searching for any sign of Turnbull or the animals. KMGH-TV said the sheriff's office announced Wednesday the bone fragments were found and would be tested to determine whether they are human or animal. The office said this testing could last from a few weeks to months.

Turnbull was living with her granddaughter Layla Cornell, horses, goats and dogs at the time of the fire. Turnbull's neighbor Scotty Roberts, who lost his RV in the fire, told KCNC-TV he tried to save Turnbull and Cornell after his home went up in flames.

Roberts recounted to the Denver news station how he and a sheriff's deputy showed up to Turnbull's home to warn the two women to evacuate. He said that he knocked on her door, but when she opened it, the oxygen caused the fire to surge in what he described as a "whoosh."

He said he found a side door that Cornell managed to escape from. However, he said Turnbull was wrapped in her dogs' leashes. The dogs had also further wrapped the leashes around a table.

"She was tethered to the dogs that were wrapped around the table, and I couldn't pull all of them and the table with me at the same time," Roberts told KCNC-TV.

He said the two of them fell as he was trying to unwrap the leashes. Eventually, he couldn't breathe anymore, at which point he knew he had to flee the house. He told the local news station he felt guilty for not being able to save her.

"I left her laying there, and I just feel so bad about that," he said. "I tried so hard. I just kept telling her, 'Nadine, I'm sorry. Nadine, I'm sorry.'"

Roberts added that he did not know where the sheriff's deputy went during the whole ordeal but does not blame him if he fled for his own safety.

According to a fundraiser started by Amy Smith, Cornell is currently living with her sisters and looking for a new home. The fundraiser also confirmed that Turnbull's horses died in the blaze, but the goats and dogs are still unaccounted for. So far, the fundraiser has raised just over $14,000.

Besides Turnbull, two others were missing after the Marshall fire. One was found alive, and the other, 69-year-old Robert Sharpe, died in the fire.

Colorado, wildfire, remains
Authorities have found bone fragments that might belong to a woman who has been missing since a wildfire tore through several Denver suburbs. Above, charred vehicles sit amid the remains of a home in the 1500 block of South 76th, Friday, Jan. 14, in Superior, Colorado. David Zalubowski/AP Photo