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Homicide investigation underway on the Ute Indian reservation

Published: Sunday, April 21 2013 9:27 p.m. MDT

The body of a white male was found Sunday afternoon in a field north of Fort Duchesne near 6500 East and 1600 North, according to Uintah County Sheriff Jeff Merrell.

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FORT DUCHESNE, Uintah County — Uintah County sheriff's deputies, FBI agents and Bureau of Indian Affairs police are investigating a homicide on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation after a man's body was found Sunday in a wooded area.

No identification was found with the body, but the man appears to be in his mid-20s and has several tattoos, Uintah County Sheriff Jeff Merrell said. He would not say what caused the man's death.

"There are some injuries, but that will have to be determined by the medical examiner," Merrell said.

The body was discovered about 4 p.m. Sunday north of a home near 6500 East and 1600 North. The homeowner had been out of town for the past week and family members had been stopping by to care for his animals, the sheriff said.

"That's who discovered the body, a family member (of the homeowner)," Merrell said.

Because the home is located on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, the FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs police are involved. Uintah County Attorney G. Mark Thomas was also at the scene, meeting with investigators Sunday night.

Authorities have not yet identified any suspects, Merrell said.

"We have just started the investigation," he said. "We're looking at all aspects of the crime scene itself, and we're determining if there is any physical evidence here that would lead us to any suspects."

— Geoff Liesik

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