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Two found dead on U.S. Highway 160 on Mancos Hill

Married couple from Roswell, New Mexico

A married couple was found dead Wednesday in a vehicle parked on U.S. Highway 160 atop Mancos Hill, said Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.

The driver, identified as Eric Richard Allen, 56, died from a gunshot wound to the head.

His wife, Yong C. Allen, 56, also was found dead, although the cause of death was unknown, Nowlin said. She had no obvious trauma.

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Next of kin have been notified. The two were from Roswell, New Mexico, Nowlin said.

The couple were found in a blue and tan Ford Expedition with New Mexico plates facing east on the south shoulder of Highway 160 about 100 feet west of the La Plata County line.

The vehicle had been parked there since Saturday, Nowlin said. It was not damaged and had not been in a crash.

A local driver noticed the vehicle had been there for a while and contacted law enforcement at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Eric Allen’s gunshot wound is suspected to be self-inflicted, Nowlin said. A handgun was recovered, and the vehicle was towed.

The cause of death of Yong Allen and the couple’s time of death remained under investigation.

Autopsies will be performed for both victims this week and will include toxicology analysis, Nowlin said.

Luggage was found in the vehicle, suggesting the couple had been on an extended trip.

The case remains under investigation, Nowlin said. He said law enforcement protocol is that the deaths will be treated as a homicide until proven otherwise.

“We will follow the evidence, and go from there,” Nowlin said.

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