Sol Pais, the 18-year-old Florida woman who FBI officials said was infatuated with the Columbine High School massacre and whose presence in Colorado triggered hundreds of schools to close, has been found dead of a self-inflicted gun wound.
The Denver Post reports that shortly before her body was found near the base of Mount Evans in Jefferson County, Colo., Pais had been spotted running naked through the woods. The location is about 40 miles west of Columbine.
Pais had traveled to Colorado on Monday night, made threats and was considered armed and extremely dangerous, the FBI said. Officials said she bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition shortly after leaving Denver International Airport.
She had been seen Monday night in the foothills of Jefferson County wearing a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots.
Numerous districts in the Denver area decided to cancel classes Wednesday as authorites conducted a massive manhunt for Pais. Superintendents from in the Denver area gathered for a call Tuesday night and collectively determined that the safest course of action would be to close schools Wednesday.
The young woman's presence in the Denver area triggered school lockouts Tuesday — that’s when outer doors are bolted, but classes continue as normal. The lockouts were carried out first at Columbine and then other Jefferson County campuses in the late morning, then dozens of other schools as the Colorado Department of Education recommended all Denver-area schools carry out lockouts and perform controlled releases of students.
The Miami Herald reports that Pais lived in Surfside and was a student at Miami Beach High School. Her parents reported her missing on Monday night, and police discovered that she had written “deeply disturbed” online postings and had bought a plane ticket to Colorado.
The threats came just days before Saturday’s 20th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine massacre, during which two students fatally shot 12 of their classmates and a teacher.