Body found in Virgin River identified as Rockville woman, family expresses gratitude

Mary Soper, undated | Photo courtesy of Springdale Police Department, St. George News

ROCKVILLE – A body found in the Virgin River near Washington Dam Road on Sept. 13 has been identified as Mary Soper, 64, who went missing from her Rockville home sometime Monday evening Sept. 9 or Tuesday morning, Sept. 10.

Although no final ruling has been made as to cause or date of death, the medical examiner has said that there was nothing suspicious about Soper’s death, Sgt. Garen Brecke of the Springdale Police Department said.

According to a release issued by the Springdale Town Clerk, Fay Cope, this afternoon:

Ten days later, dental and medical records and other forensic testing proved the body was Mary’s. She had been carried by the river for about thirty miles. Our hearts have been with the Sopers throughout the search, hope changing to dread for Mary’s unknown fate or location; we join them now in mourning her death.

Soper was last seen the evening of Sept. 9, and was thought to have gone for a walk when her family awoke and found her gone on Sept. 10. When she did not return home, an extensive search was made for her throughout the area and the county.

As Washington County received considerable rain and flash flood conditions, the river was high, and weather was cool in the day and cold at night in the area, Cope said.

On Sept. 13, a passerby driving near the Virgin River at Washington Dam Road found a body near the river. Gender, identification, age and cause of death were unable to be determined at the time due to the condition of the body and it was turned over to the state Medical Examiner.

Upon identification of the body as Soper, Brecke said the family was notified and given time to hold the information before public notification was made.

In her statement released today, Cope included the following letter of gratitude from Soper’s family:


Letter courtesy of Town of Springdale
Letter courtesy of Town of Springdale


Related posts

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.



Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Don Thomas September 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Thank you for the update, Joyce. Heartfelt condolences to her family.

    • Joanna September 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Yes, thank you for following up on this. Loads of love to the family. How terribly sad.

  • Teri September 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    My heart is aching, my condolences to Mary’s family.

  • San September 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    It always seemed logical that it had to be this poor woman. Glad her family found closure. Condolences.

  • Stacy Florea Grinsfelder October 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I really wanted a happy ending for this story.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.