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Columbine-Obsessed Florida Teen Likely Killed Herself In Colorado Before Manhunt Even Began, Authorities Say

It now appears Sol Pais went to Colorado for the purpose of committing suicide and had no intention of threatening area schools, officials say. 

By Gina Tron
Sol Pais

The Florida teen “infatuated” with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, who was found dead Wednesday after she traveled to the Denver area and purchased a shotgun, likely had no clue about the chaos she caused in the area because she killed herself days before her body was found, officials now say.

Sol Pais, 18, was found Wednesday afternoon after suffering what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“She had no idea what occurred from late Monday afternoon to Tuesday when a search for her began and to Wednesday when her body was found,” Clear Creek County Undersheriff Bruce Snelling told The Denver Post. “The logical likelihood was she was here to end her journey.”

Pais’ body was found near the Echo Lake Campground in the Arapaho National Forest, which is situated at the base of Mount Evans, according to CBS Denver. Investigators headed to that area after someone reported they saw a woman who matched Pais’ description naked and running through the area with a gun, CBS Denver reports. However, it’s not clear when that alleged sighting took place.

The Miami Beach High School student flew from Miami to Denver on Monday and bought a gun at a shop in Littleton before catching a ride up to Mount Evans. She told the driver that she wanted to see snow, according to the Post. She didn’t appear distraught, according to that driver.

It’s believed she killed herself that night, which officials now say was her plan all along. Initially they suspected she was a threat to local area schools and, seeing as it was days before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, dozens of schools were closed as a precaution. A manhunt for Pais ensued.

“There was no digital footprint anywhere,” Snelling told the Denver Post. “No phone. No credit card use. To me, that pointed to a near impossibility that this ill-equipped, 18-year-old teenage woman would fly from sea level in Florida to Colorado and then go up into the mountains with plans to go on a killing spree.”

The teen was still wearing the same camouflage pants and black T-shirt that she was described wearing as the massive hunt to find her began.

An online blog with a late 1990s aesthetic appears to belong to her, though it hasn’t been confirmed. It references the Columbine massacre and includes drawings of guns and of what appears to be the Columbine gunmen. It also references songs about Columbine, including Marilyn Manson’s “The Nobodies.”

On a listography page that appears to belong to Pais, she wrote, “Be the best killer you can be.”

“The shadow of Columbine looms pretty large,” John McDonald, the school safety executive director of Jefferson County, said at a Wednesday press conference. “We are used to threats certainly at Columbine. This one felt different.”

Initially Pais was called a  “credible threat” to the community, but not to any particular school, by FBI officials in Denver.

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