Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

Two bodies discovered near Provo's Squaw Peak

By Pat Reavy, Deseret News

Published: Sun, April 20 3:14 p.m. MDT

 Two bodies were found in the same general location in the area of Squaw Peak, Sunday, April 20, 2014. The bodies appear to have been there for an extended period of time.

Two bodies were found in the same general location in the area of Squaw Peak, Sunday, April 20, 2014. The bodies appear to have been there for an extended period of time.

(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

PROVO — A hiker in a remote area of Provo Canyon found the skeletal remains of a person Saturday.

And after Provo police arrived in the area to investigate, they found a second body.

"We believe they are completely unrelated. We've confirmed that the initial body that was found is a 2012 case, a 41-year-old male that went missing," said Provo Police Lt. Mathew Siufanua.

Both sets of remains were found in a rocky, remote area of Squaw Peak, near the bottom of a 1,000 foot cliff, Siufanua said. Investigators, with the assistance of a Department of Public Safety helicopter, were in the process of recovering the bodies on Sunday.

The first discovery was made about 1 p.m. Saturday by a hiker.

"It's not an area that a lot of people go to. He actually came across some skeletal remains that had some clothing on them, a backpack and some other personal items," he said.

That set of remains was believed to be of a man visiting from outside of the country. Authorities were attempting to notify next of kin on Sunday before releasing the man's name.

The second set of remains, which were in a different stage of decomposition, may be tied to a 2006 case, Siufanua said.

Investigators will next try to determine if the victims accidentally fell to their deaths, or if there was any indication of foul play or even suicide.

"We just don't know what happened to these individuals. We have a general idea. But part of the investigative process is to piece together all of the details that they find up on the hill, and talk to parents, and look at the old case," he said.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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1. Sore loser
tampa, fl,
April 21, 2014

That place is dangerous. I was hiking up it once and almost got knocked off a cliff by this huge boulder that came loose. Another dude kept me from falling off. That boulder caused a huge rock slide that almost took out some picknickers down below, but they ran up the side of a ravine and got out of the way. One time we lost our way back down and kept running into cliffs. It got dark and cold and we were without warm clothes but luckily found a way down after while.

2. Brahmabull
sandy, ut,
April 21, 2014

Lets ban hiking. Too many deaths, and way too dangerous.

3. andyjaggy
American Fork, UT,
April 21, 2014

I have spent a fair bit of time up in that area, it's very pretty but despite the proximity to Provo, is very lightly visited and used. Someone could definitely get lost or injured and never be found for a very long time.

4. Cleetorn
Fuaamotu, Tonga,
April 21, 2014

Brahmabull, maybe we should ban sarcasm, too.

5. no comment
New Orleans, LA,
April 21, 2014

@Brahmabull

Ban hiking? Are you crazy?

Instead we should put safety railing everywhere hikers roam. We should include non-skid adhesive treads on all rock surfaces. In areas of high sun exposure, we could build canopies- or where that is unreasonable, provide spf100 sunscreen dispensers.

All hikers could be tested for physical condition and agility, and trails could be rated and limited to only those who physically qualify.

The most important thing is to create a new government agency to protect the public against the dangers of nature. Of course we would need a Public Safety Czar in Washington who is allowed to operate outside of the law in order to protect us.

Think of all of the good government jobs that we would create!