On Friday, July 18, at about 7 p.m., Grant County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to 44 Jack Rabbit Lane in Arenas Valley in reference to a welfare check on 72-year-old Theresa Gunnelson. The welcheck was requested by her son, Kirk Reinhold of Madison, Wisconsin, who along with his brother Karl, had not been able to contact their mother for several days.
When officers arrived at the address, according to their report, they found Gunnelson's partially decomposed body lying on the ground about 10 yards south of the house near a red Chevrolet Cavalier with the driver's side door open. A pair of black sunglasses were still on the body. Near the body was a 12-pack of beer with three missing and a brown purse containing four unopened packs of cigarettes.
According to the sheriff's report, friends told authorities that Gunnelson's husband died about 10 years ago and she kept to herself after that. A short time after her husband died, Gunnelson fell and broke her arm, a friend said, and since then her health has gotten progressively worse. The friend also said that Gunnelson had been a painter and writer and studied art in Europe and that she was a loner -- but loved her cat, Mercedes.
The body was removed by personnel from a local mortuary.
A GCSD offense report stated there was no sign of foul play.