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Alana Chen

The Boulder County Coroner’s Office has formally ruled the death of Louisville woman Alana Chen a suicide.

Chen, 24, was reported missing by her family on Dec. 7 after she said would be hiking at Chautauqua Park in Boulder and did not return. Chen’s body was found on Dec. 9 near Gross Reservoir.

According to an autopsy report written by forensic pathologist Dr. Meredith Frank, Chen hanged herself and left a note. The cause of death and the note, along with “a history of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal ideations” led Frank to declare the manner of death a suicide.

Chen’s family has stated they believe Chen’s death was the result of trauma she endured as a result of coming out as a lesbian to a trusted priest when she was 14.

Chen’s family has started The Alana Faith Chen Foundation in her honor, “an organization that works diligently to provide mental health support and community education on mental illness and the effects of trauma.” For more information on the foundation, visit

Resources for those in crisis

If facing an emergency: Call 911

Mental Health Partners: To request services, 303-443-8500; walk-in center, 3180 Airport Road, Boulder, 303-447-1665

COACT Colorado’s crisis hotline: 1-844-493-8255 (TALK) or, text “TALK” to 38255

National hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433

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