Family members looking for a 64-year-old woman who was reportedly abandoned last week in rural Juab County discovered a woman’s body while searching near the Silver City-area on Saturday.
Undersheriff Brent Pulver said it’s too early to confirm if the body found is Jan Pearson-Jenkins, but circumstances indicate it could be her. A person of interest has been taken into custody for questioning. Pulver declined to identify the person.
Pulver said one of Pearson-Jenkins family member’s found the body about 11:45 a.m. He wouldn’t comment on the condition of the body or speculate on how the person died, except for saying it wasn’t found in one of the numerous open mines in the area. Two teenagers — Riley Powell and Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson — were killed and their bodies hidden in a mine shaft in that area in late December 2017.
Pearson-Jenkins was last seen Oct. 4, when she left Sandy to go camping with Cody Young near Eureka. Police said Young, who is in his 40s, messaged family members the next day saying he’d gotten into an argument with Pearson-Jenkins and had left her in the wilderness.
She didn’t have her cellphone and wasn’t dressed for cold weather.
During Saturday’s search, crews also discovered a campsite. Pulver didn’t confirm it was the one where Pearson-Jenkins and Young had stayed, although he said evidence found there would have been consistent with that.
Police have been searching for Young, who was believed to be driving an older, dark-colored van with Arizona license plate number CGA3392. He is described as white, slender, about 5-foot-5, with glasses, some facial hair and gold-brown hair that he wears in a ponytail.
Anyone with information on Pearson-Jenkins’ disappearance can call Juab County Sheriff’s Department at 435-623-1344.
This story will be updated.
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