A western Colorado search and rescue operation ended Thursday with a mix of good and tragic news.

Car Stuck In Snow and Mud On Desolate Road

The Moffatt County Sheriff's Office received a report Thursday morning of a suspicious vehicle on a service road south of County Road 53 that is rarely used in winter months. Nobody was found in the vehicle which appeared to be stuck in snow and mud. A search of the area was immediately launched but was unsuccessful.

A formal search was then launched with the help of Moffat County Search & Rescue and Mountain Air Spray. The outcome produced mixed results.

Occupants of the Vehicle Found A Mile Away

The good news is rescuers found 36-year-old Kaylee Messerly with her two young daughters about a mile from the vehicle.  Messerly and her 3-year-old daughter were found alive, but suffering from environmental exposure injuries. They were taken by ambulance to Memorial Regional Health in Craig.  The sad news is the youngest daughter, an 18-month old baby, was found deceased. According to the Craig Press,   Messerly had not been seen for a few days.

The incident remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, travel across much of the state is being discouraged this weekend as a major late-winter storm moves across Colorado. Heavy snow is expected along I-25, the eastern plains, and mountain corridors. Denver, Fort Collins, and Greeley are all expected to be hit with one to two feet of snow. Ten to twenty inches of snow is possible west of the Eisenhower Tunnel. Travel in the eastern half of Colorado is not advised this weekend, but motorists that must be on the road should be winter-prepared.

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