TOOELE — Scouts on a hike in Tooele County on Saturday discovered the body of Jane Ashby, a 62-year-old Tooele woman reported missing on July 31.
The Scouts, hiking on the west slope of the Oquirrh Mountains, also came across a red SUV, Ashby’s identification and other of her personal belongings, said Tooele Police Sgt. Lonnie Collings.
Collings said Ashby had been driving on Middle Canyon Road, which connects Tooele and Salt Lake counties and has many switchbacks. Her vehicle apparently went off the road on one of the tight turns, dropped down a steep embankment and was not visible from the road, he said.
Ashby was last seen walking out of her house the morning of July 31 and then driving off in her car, ostensibly for a work-related meeting. But family members later learned there was no meeting that day and her co-workers were not expecting her.
Ashby was a certified public accountant and the chief financial officer for the Utah Farm Bureau.
Initially, authorities feared Ashby was suicidal because she was struggling with grief and health issues. Her husband, Grant, died in December after a “courageous battle with cancer,” his obituary said.
Ashby's daughter, Michelle Graves, said her mother had suffered with "quite a bit of depression."
Graves said the family was familiar with the area where her mother's body was found because the family often picnicked there when she was a child.
"It makes sense she may go up there and have a little peace, good memories with family," she said.
The discovery of her mother's body was bittersweet, she said.
"I'm relieved and devastated at the same time," Graves said.
Collings said Ashby’s body will be sent to the state medical examiner to determine the cause of her death and to confirm her identity.
Contributing: Nkoyo Iyamba