DAVIS COUNTY, Utah -- She was missing for more than 32 years and when police finally found the remains of 23-year-old Theresa Rose Greaves. They thought all family members to notify were dead until a local genealogist took on the mission himself.
Davis County resident Scott Fisher hosts a national radio show on genealogy. He also lives less than a mile from where the remains of Greaves were discovered back in February. When he heard detectives were having trouble locating next of kin he offered his services free of charge.
"Big victory absolutely I just felt this girl needed to have proper closure on burial and her family needed to know what happened to her,” Fisher said.
It was 1983 when New Jersey native Greaves disappeared. She was living in Woods Cross when she disappeared.
Thirty-two years later her remains were found on this hillside in Davis County. Many took comfort in knowing the woman’s family would finally receive some closure until the sheriff’s office reported no living relatives could be located.
"I just said ‘well could you use a little help with that because I've got experience with it,” Fisher said.
Fisher began looking into the New Jersey area where Greaves grew up. He tracked down where she went to high school and found classmate Debbie Veevers willing to help from thousands of miles away.
“So that gave me some names to work with then I went back to census records started pulling it forward found an obituary of her grandmother naming next of kin,” Fisher said.
After many dead-ends, name changes, and change of addresses- Fisher tracked down Greaves’ uncle and cousin, Cathy.
“Never in a million years not just me see it, but my father being alive to see this. We never thought that she would be found,” said Cathy Greaves Spurgeon.
We skyped with Spurgeon from her home in Florida and the woman expressed her gratitude towards Davis County Sheriff’s Department and Fisher.
“It’s a horrible thing knowing she was up there all of these years and nobody knew anything. At least we know that when we pass away she’s with us,” Spurgeon said.
Just this week Fisher found a half-brother of Greaves’ living in New Jersey who had lost touch with his sister.
“It was a surprise to him how emotional he was after all these years but he was appreciative of that effort,” Fisher said.
Davis County Sheriff’s Office has reopened the case.
Spurgeon said once the medical examiners release Greaves’ remains to her family, she’ll be laid to rest with her grandmother- the woman who raised her.