• Local authorities have identified the bodies found Friday at the Rocky Mountain National Park
  • The coroner identified the deaths as a murder-suicide
  • Tristen Watson shot her son first before turning the gun on herself, authorities said

Authorities on Monday identified the two bodies discovered in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park Friday afternoon as Tristen Watson, 24, and her 17-month-old son, Christopher Watson.

According to ABC affiliate KMGH-TV, the Larimer County Coroner’s Office revealed that based on the investigations, Watson shot her toddler son on the head before shooting herself.

Watson’s death has been ruled as a suicide while her toddler’s death was ruled a homicide. The news came two days after authorities were notified about a woman at the park who was likely suicidal.

The bodies were discovered on Friday following the deployment of a search team. One of the park rangers on the team found Watson and her toddler child inside a car. The said vehicle was parked near Upper Beaver Meadows Road.

As part of the search team’s protocol, traffic was blocked for an hour, from 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., FOX News reported. Multiple sheriff’s offices came to assist in the search that took hours.

According to a release from the National Park Service, park rangers were assisted by the Larimer County Sherriff’s Office, Colorado Parks, Estes Park Police Department, and the Loveland Police Department.

This is the second confirmed suicide case at the Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park in less than a year. The first was that of 20-year-old McKenna Fowler, who was found in the Big Thompson River on May 20.

The cause of her death was officially released in July, The Coloradoan reported at that time. The Larimer County Sherriff’s Office said multiple blunt force injuries and hypothermia contributed to her passing.

The Big Thompson River starts at the peaks of the Rocky Mountain National Park. As opposed to Watson’s murder-suicide case, Fowler was said to have been alone in her car hours before her body was found floating on the river.

Days after her death, Fowler’s vehicle was found around a mile away from where she was found by fishing guides in the area. The car was said to have been “severely damaged.”

The Rocky Mountain National Park is known for its well-maintained forests, mountain peaks, and alpine tundra. It encompasses 415 square miles of peaks and trails that millions of visitors crowd upon annually.

While suicides are considered rare in the area, previous cases of falls have been recorded, prompting calls for improved search and protection measures in the park.