News Live Update: Woman’s body found near Interstate 15 at Brigham Road

I-15 near the site a woman's body was discovered by the side of the roadway, St. George, Utah, June 12, 2012 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

NEWS LIVE: This report contains news live as it develops and is being  updated continuously. Bookmark and refresh the page periodically for updates. Last updated 12:50 p.m.

ST. GEORGE – Early Thursday morning, a local 42-year-old woman and her dog were both discovered and pronounced dead on arrival, alongside northbound Interstate 15 just north of the Brigham Road freeway on-ramp.

At 5:50 a.m., an officer stopped at the scene at what he thought was an abandoned vehicle. Upon inspecting the silver BMW, the officer found the driver’s window down, the keys in the ignition and several papers scattered around with the letters “DNR” written on them which commonly stands for “do not resuscitate,” Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson said.

The officer called into dispatch to identify the registered owner, who turned out to be a middle-aged man. The officer called him and the man said that the vehicle belonged to his now ex-wife, but he didn’t know her whereabouts.

At this time it was still dark. The officer tagged the vehicle so that it would show the vehicle had been checked and left the scene.

About an hour later, a passerby on the bike trail that runs near the highway, saw what he thought was a body in the weeds.

Utah Highway Patrol, St. George Police, and the State Bureau of Investigation arrived on scene to investigate.

Another cyclist, St. George resident Brian Tenney, also rode by around 6:40 a.m. when he saw the incident.

“There was a silver Beemer and a policeman by the time I got there,” Tenney said. “When I rode past it the first time, there was only one, and when I went up and circled the LaQuinta Hotel, there were two-three UHP cars.”

The woman’s body was found lying in front of her car in tall yellow foxtail weeds, Ferguson said. It appeared she had been hit by a large vehicle on the Interstate and knocked to the side of the road. She was in the slow lane – almost across the dotted white lines when she apparently got hit.

Utah Deptartment of Transportation blocked off the entrance to the northbound on-ramp and closed down the right lane of I-15 around the incident for purposes of investigation.

There was some debris scattered around the area, including a big headlight, that looked to have come off a semitrailer or a large commercial-sized vehicle.

“We don’t even know what kind of vehicle we are looking for,” Ferguson said. “It’s going to be tough. I would hope this was an accidental incident.”

If the driver is caught and investigators can prove that the driver knew he or she hit the woman, it would be cited as a hit-and-run, not manslaughter, because people don’t expect anyone to be out on the Interstate in the morning, he said. There is no reason to not come forward.

Identification is pending and next of kin will be notified before the woman’s name is released. There will probably be a drug and alcohol screening on her body. The body was released by the medical examiner to a local mortuary.

For now, the cause for the woman crossing the highway early in the morning with her dog is going to be listed as a potential suicide death, Ferguson said.

The car was towed for further investigation, but there were no indications the car was inoperable.

Patrol officers are asking the public for any information about this area. If you saw any vehicles stopped near the on-ramp early this morning, you are encouraged to call Cedar City dispatch at 435-586-9445.

“Somebody saw something I would think,” Curtis said. “It’s too busy of a freeway.”

This report is based on preliminary information provided by responders on scene and may not contain the full scope of findings.

St. George News Reporter Kimberly Scott contributed to this story.

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  • Johnson June 12, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Shhhhhh!!!! Don’t say anything. Pretend this stuff doesn’t happen here in Mayberry!

    • alm5872 June 13, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Ummmmm. . . who is “not saying anything”? There has been plenty said about this tragedy. And as someone else said, if you don’t like living here maybe it’s time to move???

  • Guy June 12, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Move if you don’t like it! No one forces you to live in “Mayberry”.

    • JOHNSON June 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Welcome to Suicide George. Why is the suicide rate so high in this pretentious town?

      • JOSH DALTON June 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm

        The suicide rate is so high because there not a roller skating rink.

        • Vodka Joe June 12, 2014 at 8:10 pm

          Outer Limits was over 15 years ago Josh LMAO

      • Schizam June 13, 2014 at 10:05 am

        Because your mom lives here? Just a thought

  • Gunther June 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    @johnson-something did happen here in Mayberry and they are reporting on it. After relatives are notified and further investigation, her name will be released in a day or so. No pretending going on here. And what if this was “your” relative?
    So, don’t be a dingleberry Johnson.

    • JOHNSON June 12, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Stuff like this quickly gets swept under the carpet.

  • Robb Willie June 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    No need to be a Johnson, Johnson.

  • martin bonesaw June 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    just curious, why are we supposed to call Cedar City Police Department for this? this happened in St. George if I can tell correctly.

  • sagemoon June 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Cedar City dispatch?

  • My Evil Twin June 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    To Martin and Sagemoon, my guess is that this is being handled by CHP rather than SG PD or WACO SO. UHP is dispatched through the Cedar City dispatch center, so I’m guessing that is why it is written that way.
    I’m also betting that if you called our local dispatch center, they would transfer you to Cedar City.

  • Panda June 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Utah Highway Patrol is dispatched out of Cedar City. UHP is the investigating jurisdiction not Saint George City.

  • Jon R. Cocktoasten June 12, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Because this happened on the Interstate which falls under the jurisdiction of the Highway Patrol. Cedar Dispatches for the Highway Patrol… The reporter was spot on with that and would have been wrong to say call St. George Dispatch.

  • GreetingsSTG June 12, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    UHP dispatch is done out of Cedar City. UHP is in charge of the investigation.

  • S.Vitto June 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you St. George News

  • Festus June 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Freeway = UHP jurisdiction -cedar is UHP office.

  • x June 12, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    This happened on the interstate, which is policed by UHP. The dispatch for UHP in southern Utah is located in Cedar City, which is why you would call the UHP dispatch number in Cedar City.

  • Coffeelarge June 12, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    What happened to her dog? Is the dog ok?

    • Doug Ence June 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      who cares about the dog are you kidding me?

    • ladybugavenger June 12, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      The dog and the woman are both deceased. The first paragraph explains that.

  • Harry wanger June 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    I drove by it this morning and saw the Sergeant holding up a blanket. I thought the cops shot and killed someone…. Not as good of a story…

  • But Seriously June 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Why was the dispatch out of Cedar City? Can someone clear this up for me?

    • My Evil Twin June 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Your question has been answered several times here, so no, I don’t think anyone can clear it up for you. You do not seen to comprehend what you read very well.

      • my twins June 12, 2014 at 10:42 pm

        So what you are saying is there is a reason Cedar City was called first?

      • my twins June 12, 2014 at 10:43 pm

        I think you need to read between the lines.

  • Gene thinks Johnson a Dumbash June 12, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Coffee large to answer your question Johnson is at home licking himself

  • Glock June 12, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    I’m not grasping the whole “Swept under the rug” comment? What’s to cover up? Someone killed themselves on the freeway. Unfortunately it’s common for people to jump in front of cars, to do that. Do you mean it will be forgotten soon and no one will talk about it? Um.. yea. That happens to all news. Especially an isolated incident in a small town.
    Your point is invalid Small Johnson. Sorry.

  • Char June 12, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    What they mean about swept under the carpet is no one will report further on it. Like the m/c accident on the La Verkin Twist, there is nothing more on that either. They do just enough to get you to read the first story, then move on. I would love to know just what happened in that story. Are they all right? Was it mechanical failure? etc.

  • RICK June 13, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I hold the utmost respect for our law enforcement, however, I’m up every morning at 5:30 and jog at 6:00 and I can assure you it is not ‘very dark’ at that time of the morning. While you would not expect to see a body just off the freeway at any time of day, I’m concerned that this office would not check the area closer (maybe use a flashlight) consider what he found inside the vehicle

    • Mean momma June 16, 2014 at 7:55 am

      I was thinking the same thing Rick. It doesn’t make sense, someone seems to have not been doing their job.

  • Schizam June 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

    To all you … on here who think you’re being funny: This woman had a family, people that loved her. Probably more than I can say for any of you. If you don’t like this city, then leave, dummies!
    Ed. ellipsis.

  • jc June 13, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Omg I just found out that woman was my sons friends mom….have sympathy that was someone’s mother and her son has to struggle with his moms death

  • J D June 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    This is sick.

    This person did everything wrong. One, she made someone else kill her so they have to live with that for the rest of their life with those images in their head. Two, she did it in public so people could potentially see it. Three, she took someone else (or thing) with her. In this case her dog. Gross. Sorry, but I feel no remorse for someone who does it this way.

    Do it yourself in the desert or somewhere where no-one will see, under a tarp or something. Let me save someone from making a comment about this… Yes I understand the driver may not have even known what happened but that doesn’t make it any better. Also I have a had a suicide in the family before so don’t try and preach.

  • SS June 19, 2014 at 2:10 am

    There is no proof yet that this is a suicide. It was Officer Ferguson’s interpretation that the papers with DNR on them were an indication of that, but not a suicide note. There is the possibility that she was having car problems and was hit by the vehicle walking to get help. Not everyone has a cell phone on them at all times.There is also the gruesome possibility that she and her dog were already deceased and thrown into incoming traffic to make it look like a suicide. Too many scenarios and possibilities to condemn or judge anyone. We need thorough investigations, not assumptions. And yes, there really should be a follow through report on this story.

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