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State investigators rule out murder of American student in Buryatia

By 0 and 0 and 0
14 May 2016


'That night was warm, it became colder only next morning after it started snowing at about 8 am.' Picture: Dana Madsen-Calcutt

The 25 year old student was found dead near a tourist village on 4 April, eight days after going missing: his friends have expressed the view that he may have been killed. The Investigative Committee - equivalent of the FBI - insisted on Friday that he died of exposure to the cold after going out for a walk in the middle of the night in the village of Arshan.

'Forensic experts confirmed that the US citizen died because of the low temperature, that is he froze to death,' said a statement. 'He left the village without any warm clothes and there were freezing temperatures at night.'

Investigators said that traces of Tetrahydrocannabinol - indicating use of cannabis - were found in Madsen's body and on friends he was with for hiking trip to a mountain called Peak of Love. 

Colin Madsen 'froze to death after taking cannabis', says law enforcement, but friends dispute findings.
State investigators rule out murder of American student in Buryatia. Picture: Angara.net 

'The friends of the deceased man during the preliminary interrogation confessed that on 26 March during the entire day they took drugs - marijuana mixed with tobacco,' the statement said. 

Friends of the dead US citizen, from Jefferson City, Missouri, who was a student at  Irkutsk State Linguistic University, now face criminal charges over possession and use of cannabis, which is banned in Russia. 

'The investigation of the reasons of the death of US citizen is ongoing,' said the statement. 'Samples are checked in several laboratories to find the presence of narcotic substances.'

The victim's mother Dana Madsen-Calcutt, 55, is on record as saying she believes her son was murdered.

'The murder investigation is still open and I hate to even think it, but I believe barring some medical catastrophe like an aneurysm or pulmonary embolus, that it is likely,' she said last month. 'He would have never walked to a place in the pitch dark with his shoes unlaced, no socks , and when he was leaving for a climb in just a few hours that he was so excited about.'

Colin Madsen 'froze to death after taking cannabis', says law enforcement, but friends dispute findings.

Colin Madsen 'froze to death after taking cannabis', says law enforcement, but friends dispute findings.

Police search
Colin Madsen 'froze to death after taking cannabis', says law enforcement. Friends dispute findings. Pictures: Baikalov.net, Vlad Rasputin

Two Russian friends who were with Madsen on the trip have earlier claimed that investigators sought to frame them for murder before Madsen's body was even found. 

The Investigative Committee (IC) statement suggests no suspicious wounds were visible on Madsen's body. 

'Injuries were not found on the visible parts of the body.'

A friend familiar with the case admitted that the two Russians on the trip had smoked 'some tiny amount of marihuana mixed with tobacco' but vigorously denied they had smoked all day long. 

The friend also stated that the Russians did not admit to investigators that Madsen had smoked cannabis because they did not know whether he did or not.

'Even if Colin smoked, this could not have caused his death nor made him mad, it is nonsense,' said the source, who also disputed that the temperatures at night were 'freezing'.

'That night was warm, it became colder only next morning after it started snowing at about 8 am.'

The source made clear that Madsen's Russian friends 'do not believe... that he just froze to death.'

Comments (9)

Still following this case. Posts on families Facebook still show a strong indication of murder. It seems so many cases of unsolved murders in region. Someone needs to come forward and reveal the truth.
Curtis Moore, Lansing Michigan
02/07/2017 08:42
These rocky crags where not where this boy was found. He was in flat even ground in the open .8 miles away.. Shame on all of you. An American dead in a tourist town he was familiar with. An international student fluent in Russian. This boy was threat and shouldn't have been. He was all about democracy and love. Maybe, now that Moscow has the case, they will do the right thing. This young man deserves justice.

tanya, Los angles, california
07/02/2017 14:59
I have been following this case from the beginning and I am absolutely baffled that this man continues to be slandered and his family continues to have no answers other than this absolutely shoddy explanation. Shame on these "police". Shame on Russia for letting this corruption continue in Buryatia.
Tanya Brown, Conneticut
07/01/2017 04:25
Colin Madsen's toxicology report in the US revealed absolutely no drugs detected in his system.. convenient excuse but not a rational one that an experienced hiker ends up being found less than a mile from the original place he was staying. Besides that, Colin had went on these wide trails previously. It's basically a walking path.. I could understand if he was found in the mountains but he was within visual ability to see the village, close to meteorological station. Hardly any snow on ground in following days of search. And no one could locate him?! That's because his body wasn't there until it was placed there!
Sandra , NYC
15/10/2016 21:49
Any follow up to this case? From what we've been reading the police were involved in a very similar case of a teenager in Ulan Ude. With attempts to cover up the crime by saying he first had drugs in his system then later all tests were negative. Look at crime scene photo put out by life news! Does it look like Colin Madsen died in a position of hypothermia. His clothes look like they were put back on him.. If you blow up photo you can see injuries on back of head as well.
Brenda Tate, USA
15/10/2016 21:37
I understood that this is a murder investigation and it is still an open investigation. This headline is false.
Sandra, NYC
06/09/2016 17:16
A trace of THC is hardly enough to cause confusion or disorientation. Murder was ruled out before investigation began! There are way too many indescrepancies in this case. There is definately signs of cover up in this story. Fact: Colin Madsen was familiar with this territory.
Fact: Colin Maden did not drink alcohol, THC is legal in many states in US. A trace is nothing and can be in your system for months following even incidental exposure.
Fact: His body was found only a mile away ( a fifteen minute walk in a well lit area in Arshan. 8 DAYS later!
Kate, Somewhere, USA
10/06/2016 22:02
If this was not so tragic it would be laughable. How stupid do they think we are?
Rhonda, USA
18/05/2016 10:54
It's very sad the search was not started sooner. He wasn't that far away. Rest in peace Colin you are in a better place. Fly high with the angels...
Barb, USA
17/05/2016 07:36

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