Man arrested, charged with murder after body believed to be missing Sandy woman found near Eureka

JUAB COUNTY, Utah -- A man was charged with murder Saturday after he allegedly left a 64-year-old woman while the two were camping near Eureka.

64-year-old Jan Pearson-Jenkins went missing in early October after she and Cody Young, 42, went camping. Young told officials that while the two were camping, he had a fight with Pearson-Jenkins and kicked her out of his van and drove away.

Search crews recovered a body Saturday near Eureka and said they believed it to be Pearson-Jenkins. Investigators did not release an official identity of the body or a cause of death, pending an investigation by the Medical Examiner's Office.

A probable cause statement released in 4th District Court said that searchers located the body on a sagebrush hillside. The deceased female was nude, though three articles of clothing were found near her body, the statement said. Investigators also said the female had bruising on her back and legs and marks on her head.

Shortly after discovering the body, the statement said that Young was located in Yuba State Park. Young was driving a black van, that investigators said he and Pearson-Jenkins had gone camping in. Young was taken into custody by investigators and his van was seized as evidence.

Detectives conducted an interview with Young, where he allegedly told them that he and Pearson-Jenkins had initially intended to travel to an area near Delta, Utah to look for rocks. Police stated Young told them that when the two reached the Eureka area it was getting dark, so they decided to stop on a turnoff near Silver City.

Young told detectives that he and Pearson-Jenkins got into multiple fights, which ended with Young getting into his van and leaving Pearson-Jenkins behind.

"Cody stated that he drove a distance then stopped to have a cigarette," the statement said. "He stated he contemplated whether he should go back and pick Jan up. Cody stated he chose to attempt to call Jan’s brother and tell him where Jan was. Cody stated that he was unable to make contact with Jan’s brother via telephone, so he decided to send a message."

Young told police that after leaving Pearson-Jenkins behind, he stayed in the parking lot of a gas station for two days, then traveled to Yuba State Park.

The statement said that Young stated he had read articles stating that Pearson-Jenkins was missing, and that police were looking for him and his van. Young allegedly made no attempt to contact law enforcement, despite the fact that he knew law enforcement officials were looking for him.

Police said Young was booked into the Juab County Jail for murder because he knowingly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death to another, thereby caused the death of another.