EUREKA, Juab County — A body located in Juab County Saturday was positively identified as a woman who went missing after she was reportedly abandoned by a man who was camping with her, police said.
Volunteers searching for Jan Pearson-Jenkins, 64, found her nude body on a sagebrush hillside near Silver City nearly a week and a half after she went missing Oct. 4, officials confirmed.
It appeared her body had been “exposed to the elements for some time,” and there were marks and bruising on her back and legs, as well as a mark on her head, jail records state.
Pearson-Jenkins had reportedly been camping in the area with Cody Alexander Young, 42, when the two got into a series of arguments and Young eventually got into his van, locked the doors and drove off, the documents show.
Young was arrested and booked into the Juab County Jail for investigation of murder when park rangers noticed his vehicle at Yuba State Park shortly after Pearson-Jenkins’ body was found.
Young told police the pair had planned to go camping near Delta on Oct. 3. As they passed Eureka, they noticed it was getting dark and decided to pull over on a road near Silver City to camp for two nights, jail documents show.
The next day, the two got into an argument over money and “repair work that had been performed at Jan’s mother’s residence,” according to the report. Young said he told Pearson-Jenkins their relationship was “done,” but the two resolved the issue, smoked methamphetamine and stayed the next night in the same camping spot, records show.
The next morning, Oct. 5, the two drove a short distance before deciding to spend another night camping nearby. Later in the day, Young told detectives the pair got into another argument and Young left, leaving Pearson-Jenkins stranded at the campsite without a purse or cellphone and not dressed appropriately for the weather, jail documents state.
Young told detectives “he was aware that by leaving Jan something might possibly happen to her,” but that he didn’t feel comfortable being with her. He contemplated going back and picking her up, but instead drove to Nephi and attempted to contact her family to tell them where she was, records state.
He eventually sent a text message to her brother.
After staying in Nephi for two nights, he traveled to Yuba State Park where authorities located him Saturday. He told detectives he continued reading articles in the news about Pearson-Jenkins and “thought that something bad could have happened to Jan,” jail records state.
He made no attempts to contact law enforcement officials before he was located, according to the report. Young’s van was retained as evidence, and detectives plan to seek a search warrant for the vehicle.
Prosecutors have not yet filed charges against Young, but an initial court hearing could happen Tuesday, according to Juab County Undersheriff Brent Pulver.
6PM: Body identified as woman who went missing after she was reportedly abandoned on camping trip