Off-grid family's autopsy reveals 14-year-old boy weighed just 40 POUNDS when he was found alongside his mummified mother and aunt after they starved to death

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  • The mummified remains of Christine Vance, 41, Rebecca ‘Becky’ Vance, 42, and Rebecca’s unnamed son were discovered in the Rocky Mountains in July 
  • The 14-year-old boy weighed just 40 pounds before he died of malnutrition and hypothermia, autopsy results revealed 

The 14-year-old boy discovered dead alongside his mother and aunt in a remote Colorado campsite weighed just 40 pounds before he died of malnutrition and hypothermia, autopsy results have revealed.

The mummified remains of Christine Vance, 41, Rebecca ‘Becky’ Vance, 42, and Rebecca’s unnamed son were discovered in July in the Rocky Mountains where they had gone to live off-grid to ‘escape society’. 

Survival guides and empty food tins were scattered across their wooded campsite, according to the Gunnison County Coroner’s office autopsies. No heaters were found in their tent which had been covered in snow during the winter. 

The trio were uninjured but their corpses were emaciated, according to the reports obtained by the Colorado Sun. The teenage boy weighed less than three stone – around a third of the average weight for a child his age.

The teenager had been worried about living off-grid with the women, but didn’t want to be separated from his mother. The family had attempted to prepare for their new life by watching YouTube tutorials and reading survival guides. 

The 14-year-old (left) weighed just 40 pounds when he died alongside his mother Rebecca Vance (second from left) and aunt Christine Vance (right) Their stepsister Trevala Jara (second from right) said she begged them not to leave

The 14-year-old (left) weighed just 40 pounds when he died alongside his mother Rebecca Vance (second from left) and aunt Christine Vance (right) Their stepsister Trevala Jara (second from right) said she begged them not to leave

Trevala Jara (left) with her stepsister Christine Vance (right) posing for a photo together in July 2022

 Trevala Jara (left) with her stepsister Christine Vance (right) posing for a photo together in July 2022 

Rebecca 'Becky' Vance, 42, her sister and her son were discovered in the Rocky Mountains where they had gone to live off-grid to 'escape society'

Rebecca ‘Becky’ Vance, 42, her sister and her son were discovered in the Rocky Mountains where they had gone to live off-grid to ‘escape society’

Last summer, Rebecca convinced her sister to leave her life in Colorado Springs behind and move to the wilderness with her and her son – despite having little to none survival skills, their stepsister Trevala Jara said. 

‘At first Christine didn’t want to go, but she changed her mind. She felt like they had a better chance at living if she went with them,’ Jara said. ‘And she didn’t want our sister and nephew to be alone.’

Jara, 39, said she and her husband begged her stepsisters to abandon their plan, but Becky refused.

The sisters are said to have felt that the pandemic and politics brought out the worst in humanity. 

They weren´t conspiracy theorists, said Jara, but Rebecca Vance ‘thought that with everything changing and all, that this world is going to end. … (They) wanted to be away from people and the influences of what people can do to each other.’ 

Becky’s son, meanwhile, had mixed feelings about his mother’s plan to flee civilization, Jara told the New York Post. 

‘He was scared and excited at the same time,’ she continued. ‘He was only 13 when they left. He didn’t know what living off the grid entails at all, but he wanted to be with his mom.’

Rebecca and Christine Vance told others they were travelling to another state for a family emergency. They told Jara of their plans, but not where they would set up camp.  

Christina Vance joined her sister and nephew living off-grid in Colorado

Christina Vance joined her sister and nephew living off-grid in Colorado 

Trevala Jara begged her stepsister Christina not to make the move before her death

Trevala Jara begged her stepsister Christina not to make the move before her death 

The family was found this month about 1,000 feet from a campsite in the Gunnison National Forest. They reportedly prepared for life off the grid by watching survival videos on YouTube

The family was found this month about 1,000 feet from a campsite in the Gunnison National Forest. They reportedly prepared for life off the grid by watching survival videos on YouTube


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Trevala Jara (pictured) says she tried to warn stepsister Christine  Vance from undertaking the off-the-grid move that killed her, her sister and her teenage son

Trevala Jara (pictured) says she tried to warn stepsister Christine  Vance from undertaking the off-the-grid move that killed her, her sister and her teenage son 

The sisters had been 'discouraged with the state of the world' in recent years, and set off last summer to permanently live off the grid in the remote area

The sisters had been ‘discouraged with the state of the world’ in recent years, and set off last summer to permanently live off the grid in the remote area

The first of the three bodies was reported to authorities when a hiker came across the campsite around 20 miles from the small town of Gunnison

The first of the three bodies was reported to authorities when a hiker came across the campsite around 20 miles from the small town of Gunnison

Jara remembers Rebecca Vance as a bit reserved, sharp as a whip, and someone who could read through a 1,000-page book in days. Vance’s son was homeschooled and a math whiz, Jara said.

Christine Vance was more outgoing, charismatic and wasn’t at first convinced on the idea to escape society, Jara said, ‘but she just changed her mind because she didn’t want our sister and nephew to be by themselves.’

Jara said she tried everything short of kidnapping to keep them from leaving, but nothing worked. Now, Jara wants to warn others about the risks of surviving in the wilderness.

‘I do not wish this on anybody at all,’ Jara said. ‘I can´t wait to get to the point where I’m happy and all I can think of is the memories.’




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