Losing Ray Medina

December 1 2009, 11:47 AM

I recently mentioned the story of Ray Medina, an unemployed mason living on the banks of Fountain Creek, inside a tepee with a new cardboard floor---one of a growing number of tents along stretches of I-25 in Colorado Springs. Now, the Gazette, which had written about Medina's determination to live in the tepee through the winter as he looked for work, reports that Medina has died. The 53-year-old actually passed away on Thanksgiving Day; his body was discovered two days after he had been interviewed by the newspaper. "He worked his butt off. He was not lazy," says Cynthia, a neighbor who discovered his body. "He wanted to keep himself alive." Medina, who came from Grand Junction searching for construction work at Fort Carson, kept a campsite that was among the neatest along the creek. "None of us really want to be here," Medina had said. "I'm hoping (construction) will pick back up, hopefully in the spring." Meanwhile, 9News reports that a person had been living inside a girder at an on-ramp to C-470 near I-25.