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Off-Grid Adventure Ends in Family Tragedy

Three members of a local family set off on a long-term camping adventure, intent on living off the grid. Their endeavor took a fatal turn when their three decomposed bodies were discovered recently at a remote campsite.

Gunnison County Coroner Michael Barnes identified the deceased as Rebecca Vance, 42; her 14-year-old son whose name is undisclosed for privacy reasons, and Christine Vance, 41, all from Colorado Springs. Trevala Jara, a Vance stepsister, revealed they didn't disclose their destination before embarking on the journey. The family likely began camping in July 2022, and eventually succumbed to the elements during the harsh winter months.

Friends and family say that Rebecca Vance was motivated by an intense dissatisfaction with the direction of ongoing world and local events—including fallout from the pandemic—and sought an isolated life to shield her family from external influences. The Vances remained committed to their off-grid choice, despite attempts to dissuade them. “We tried to stop them,” said Jara. “But they wouldn’t listen.”

The Vances attempted to subsist on canned food and prepackaged items. After the bodies were discovered, exact causes of death were uncertain, but malnutrition and exposure in the high-altitude winter remain undeniable factors. Gunnison County Sheriff Adam Murdie highlighted the unusual nature of the incident. “This is not a typical occurrence anywhere, by any means,” said Murdie.

Living off the grid, a pursuit of self-sufficiency without public utilities, has gained attention, though experts suggest that for people it's not economically practical. This tragedy underscores the challenges of disconnecting from society, emphasizing the need for balance between safety, security, and self-sufficiency.

Possible Preaching Angle:

As followers of Christ, we are called to be a united family, supporting, and uplifting one another. Let us not retreat into isolation, but rather open our hearts to the blessings of fellowship and community.

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