Who is Sol Pais? What we know about the woman infatuated by Columbine who killed herself

Joey Garrison and Alan Gomez

A massive manhunt ended Wednesday after authorities confirmed that Sol Pais, an 18-year-old woman who made "credible threats" against Denver-area schools, was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

Authorities said Pais traveled to Colorado on Monday night ahead of the 20th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School and was infatuated with the deadly shooting. 

She purchased a pump-action shotgun and ammunition from a gun shop in Littleton, not far from Columbine, authorities said.

Here's what we know about Pais:

Florida connection

Pais is from South Florida and lived in Surfside. She traveled to Denver from Miami on Monday night, authorities said.

“Ms. Sol Pais took her own life. I would like to express the family’s grief for this situation. They are grateful that no one else is hurt,” Surfside Police Chief Julio Yero said Wednesday. 

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Where she was found

Dean Phillips, special agent in charge for the FBI in Denver, said Pais was found dead in the Mount Evans area near the Echo Mountain ski resort west of Denver on Wednesday morning around 10:30 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. He said she was last spotted there Monday after being dropped off by a ride-share vehicle.

The FBI had been searching for her in the foothills outside of Denver. It is unclear when she killed herself.

Acted alone, FBI says

It's too early to say when she killed herself, Phillips said, adding that the investigation is ongoing to ensure there were no additional participants or sign of foul play. Her body awaits an autopsy. 

He said it looks as if she was alone and took her own life with the weapon she had bought. 

Three one-way airplane tickets

In addition to Pais's threatening comments regarding Columbine, the FBI says that she purchased three one-way airplane tickets from Miami to Denver for flights that departed on consecutive days: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 

It further drew the attention of law enforcement. 

"Very unusual activity that caused us great concern that obviously we worked very quickly to identify and address," Phillips said. 

Reported missing Monday

Pais was reported missing by her parents on Monday night, according to the Surfside Police Department. FBI agents entered her home Tuesday at 8:20 p.m. 

This combination of undated photos released by the Jefferson County, Colo., Sheriff's Office on Tuesday shows Sol Pais.

Senior in high school

Miami-Dade County Public Schools confirmed that Pais was a senior at Miami Beach High School. 

Pais was enrolled in Advanced Placement courses, according to the Herald, and was known to wear dark, baggy clothing that hung off her thin frame. 

Online blog

Someone who identified herself as “Sol Pais” ran an online blog that included pictures of guns and journal entries filled with angst. 

"The purpose of this site is for me to give insight into the thoughts I rarely, if ever, share with others, while remaining somewhat anonymous. Everything from journal entries to my personal interests – I want to leave a record of myself before I, well..." the blog reads. 

In the about me section, the individual wrote that “I am the face of loneliness and misery.” There is a picture of the individual as a young girl with the writing "In this tiresome reality that i do not belong in, i take the form of Sol" typed underneath the image.

USA TODAY has not been able to independently confirm that the blog belongs to Pais. 

Individual described gun-purchase plan on message board

A person with the same screen name, "dissolvedgirl," posted on a National Gun Forum message board about living in Miami and traveling to Colorado to buy a gun.

Law enforcement has not said whether the person was Pais. 

The individual wrote: "Florida resident here. I am planning a trip to Colorado in the next month or so and wanna buy a shotgun while I'm there and I was wondering what restrictions apply for me? I've found a few private sellers I might want to purchase from; is it legal for me as a Florida resident to purchase a shotgun in Colorado? I'm 18 years old too, if it's important. thank you for reading, i appreciate any response!

Another post says: "the problem is i have no friends in FL who are into guns like me so it's not as fun having to do all of this alone (hence the trip to CO to see these more knowledgable friends), but hey, it's my damn choice what hobbies i wanna pick up and i don't need anybody else (save for everyone on this forum, lol)."

'Infatuation' with Columbine mass shooting

Dean Phillips, special agent in charge for the FBI in Denver, said Pais had made many "concerning comments" in the past about the deadly Columbine shooting, which drew their attention. He described Pais as having an "infatuation" with the mass shooting. 

'Armed and dangerous'

Phillips said Pais stopped at a store and legally purchased a shotgun and ammunition after arriving in Colorado. She was considered a "credible threat." But law enforcement did not identified any specific threat against any school, Phillips said. 


 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who is Sol Pais? What we know about the woman infatuated by Columbine who killed herself