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Alcohol, drugs led to drowning

Women had cocaine, methamphetamine in her system

— Drug and alcohol use were a major factor in a Brighton woman’s death at the Strawberry Park Hot Springs last weekend, according to toxicology and autopsy reports on 37-year-old Patricia Maestas.

“Unfortunately, it led to her drowning,” Routt County Coroner Doug Allen said.

Tests show Maestas had a blood alcohol content of .288, and she tested positive for cocaine and methamphetamines.



Maestas was found underwater late Saturday night in one of the hot springs’ naturally heated pools. Patrons walking across the pool came across Maestas and called for help.

Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, and Maestas was pronounced dead at Yampa Valley Medical Center early Sunday morning.



Allen and the Routt County Sheriff’s Office ruled her death an accident.

“There is nothing to believe that anyone assaulted her or there was any foul play,” Undersheriff Dan Taylor said.

Taylor said the Sheriff’s Office interviewed a “copious amount of people” who were in contact with Maestas from the time she boarded a bus bound for the hot springs to the time she was in the water.

No one who was at the hot springs Saturday evening reported seeing any signs of a struggle in the water. No one heard or saw anything unusual that would have indicated a drowning.

Maestas’ husband last saw her in the water when he left to dry off and get dressed. When he returned to the pool a few minutes later with a towel for his wife, he yelled for Maestas but couldn’t find her.

No alcohol other than 3.2-percent beer is allowed at the hot springs’ main pools, which are about 4 feet deep.

Maestas most likely passed out from the alcohol and drugs in her system, slipped under the water in her unconscious state and drowned, Taylor said.

“We don’t know exactly what happened,” he said.

There are no marks that indicate Maestas fell and bumped her head, Allen said.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs offers naturally heated pools year round.

New customers are not admitted after 10:30 p.m., and everyone must leave at midnight. No one under 18 is allowed after dark. Customers are encouraged to bring water so they do not get dehydrated.


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