Authorities identify woman’s body found, recovered from river

ST. GEORGE — Authorities said they believe they have identified the body of a woman discovered by a man hiking Thursday afternoon in City Creek and subsequently recovered by officials from a river near the Halfway Wash Trail in St. George.

woman's body found
Officials interview a man who found the body of a woman in City Creek near the Halfway Wash Trail, St. George, Utah, Jan. 14, 2016 | Photo by Michael Durrant, St. George News

Officials were called to the scene near the Sunset Clinic Intermountain Healthcare InstaCare building on West Sunset Boulevard at 1:06 p.m. when a man walking around the area reported finding the body, St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said.

Despain said the body was all the way in the river, which was about 2 feet deep and located directly below an approximately 12-foot cement wall.

“Initially, there didn’t appear to be any signs of trauma, so a cause of death, at this point, is completely unknown – but nothing glaringly obvious that would indicate a cause of death,” Despain said, adding that it was too soon to tell if foul play is suspected.

woman's body found
Authorities recover a body found by City Creek near the Halfway Wash Trail, St. George, Utah, Jan. 14, 2016 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

At 3 p.m., officials said they had identified the woman by an identification card found on or near her body. The woman’s identity was not immediately released pending notification of next of kin.

After the woman’s body had been recovered, it was taken to the medical examiner’s office to identify a cause and time of death.

“I wouldn’t say the body was there for an extended period of time, but it’s hard to say,” Despain said, adding that the body wasn’t necessarily decomposed: “It wasn’t remains, if you will – there was a body in the river, so exactly how long, we’re not sure. But those are some answers that we want to know too.”

Despain said the Halfway Wash Trail is a popular trail with a lot of people walking through the area.

woman's body found
Officials remove the body of a woman found in City Creek near the Halfway Wash Trail, St. George, Utah, Jan. 14, 2016 | Photo by Michael Durrant, St. George News

“A lot of people use this trail right through here,” Despain said, pointing at the City Creek area. “You can see that it’s a pretty active area.”

The investigation into the incident is ongoing. Despain said authorities would be releasing the identity of the woman after family notifications are made.

While officials have not yet confirmed the identity of the victim as this report is published, friends of the deceased have identified her as a young, St. George woman. Additional information will be added as it is made available.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

St. George News Reporter Ric Wayman contributed to this story.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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