LITTLETON, Colo. — The death of a Florida teenager who authorities say was obsessed with the Columbine school shooting and may have planned to carry out her own attack in Colorado did not end an investigation into the 18-year-old, authorities said as they examine whether the young woman acted alone and Denver-area schools prepared to reopen their doors.
The body of Sol Pais was discovered in the mountains outside Denver with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Wednesday after investigators got a tip from the driver who took her there, the FBI said.
Dozens of schools that closed as a precaution during the daylong manhunt planned to reopen Thursday with heightened security measures. Events planned to mark the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine attack will go on as scheduled throughout the week, including a ceremony near the school on Saturday.
Two teenagers attacked Columbine on April 20, 1999, killing 12 classmates and a teacher before taking their own lives. They have inspired cult-like admirers, some of whom committed other mass shootings over the decades. A growing “no notoriety” movement has urged news organizations to avoid naming the perpetrators of mass shootings to deprive them of the notoriety they seek.
The details of Pais’ travel from Florida to Colorado began to trickle out Wednesday along with some classmates’ confusion at her involvement. The student at Miami Beach High School dressed in black and kept mostly to herself, said Adam Charni, a senior at the school.
Charni said he was “baffled” to learn she was the person authorities in Colorado were searching for. Another classmate, 17-year-old Drew Burnstine, described Pais as quiet and smart.
But the Miami Beach high school student made troubling remarks to others about her “infatuation” with the 1999 assault at Columbine High and this weekend’s anniversary, said Dean Phillips, FBI agent in charge in Denver. He did not elaborate on what she said.
Investigators will seek to learn more from Pais’ social media and her other online presence, largely to ensure that she had no “accessories” or “accomplices,” Phillips said. He confirmed that the material being scrutinized includes a blog containing hand-written journal entries that occasionally feature sketches of guns or people holding large firearms.