SAN JUAN COUNTY – The body of a 69-year-old Kanab man reported missing earlier this week was found near Canyonlands National Park, authorities reported Saturday.
Kenneth Johnson, of Kanab, was reported missing Sunday and was last known to be in the area of Moniticello, Utah. He had been traveling through San Juan County visiting archaeological sites when he disappeared, according to a statement from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s Office deputies and National Park Service rangers were alerted Saturday that a Jeep Liberty matching the description Johnson drove was seen in the Davis Canyon area east of Canyonlands National Park.
“Upon arrival, the vehicle appeared to have become stuck in the sand and unmovable,” the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. “Digging marks around the tires of the vehicle were visible. Mr. Johnson’s body was found only 50 feet from the vehicle under the shade of a cedar tree.”
Johhson was still clutching a shovel in hand when he was found. It is presumed Johnson succumbed to heart problems while digging out his jeep, as he had a history of heart disease, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Johnson’s body will be transported to the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office in Salt Lake City for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
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