SALT LAKE CITY — Human remains found in Grand County last month have been confirmed to be those of Lance Leeroy Arellano, the suspect in the 2010 shooting of a state park ranger.
Arellano disappeared in November 2010 after shooting then-Ranger Brody Young nine times. The shooting occurred during a routine vehicle check in the area of Poison Spider Trailhead outside of Moab, Utah, after which Arellano fled, triggering a manhunt. A reward for information concerning Arellano’s location at the time was offered as the search continued.
Five years later, human remains believed to be Arellano were found by a Moab resident, Caleb Shumway, 23, a college student who was home for the Christmas break. He and his 15-year-old brother Jarom decided to search an area near the Tangrila Ranch to see if they could find what may have remained of the suspected shooter.
Jarom Shumway found what they were looking for.
The Shumways contacted the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and led officials to where the young men had found a human bone and a bag containing a handgun and magazine, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.
The remains were located in a cave-like area that was accessed by crawling through a narrow entrance. Once collected, the bones were sent to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office for identification.
Utah State Parks announced via press release Wednesday that the remains were a positive match for Arellano.
“With the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office’s positive identification of Arellano’s remains,” state officials said in the press release, “we hope Brody, his family, and others impacted by this tragic incident can continue to move forward and find additional closure.”
Young survived the shooting and now works as an assistant coordinator of Utah’s statewide boating program.
“Brody continues to be an inspiration for everyone at the division,” state officials said. “Not only were his actions heroic at the time of the shooting, but he and his family have demonstrated tremendous courage during his long recovery and return to work over a year later.”
State officials said their were also mindful of Arellano’s family during this time and noted “how difficult the last five years have been for them — unaware of the whereabouts of their loved one.”
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