"Jack McAtee, a St. Louis native living in the ski town of Breckenridge, had been driving amid the mountains of Colorado when his car swerved off the road and tumbled more than 100 feet into a river below, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The car was totaled, but, miraculously, McAtee swam to the surface and escaped with only a scratch above his left eye. He had fallen asleep at the wheel, he told a state trooper that Thursday evening last September.
But the trooper’s suspicions were roused by the young man’s odd behavior — he seemed carefree one moment, erratic the next — so he took McAtee to the hospital, then to protective custody at the local jail, then to a mental health facility at Summit Safe Haven in Frisco, Colo., a mountain town at the northern end of Colorado’s Tenmile Range.
The next morning, according to Colorado newspaper the Summit Daily News, McAtee walked out of Safe Haven with just $67 and the clothes on his back. And that was the last anyone saw of him. There were no more phone calls, no bank withdrawals, no run-ins with the police. Nothing.
Until this August, when a pair of French hikers bushwhacking down a mountain near Frisco came across a skull on the rugged, steep slopes.
The skull, DNA tests revealed, was Jack’s.
Then there was the other lead, the one the McAtees didn’t want to think about. Jack had stopped taking medicine for bipolar disorder just before the crash, the family told the Summit Daily News. It had happened before, and on three of those occasions he’d gone missing for a short while. Usually he popped back up again.
But the state trooper who met Jack McAtee wrote in his report on the incident that he believed the crash might have been intentional, according to the Summit Daily News. Maybe he was trying to die.
Maybe he was already dead."