Death of woman in Provo Canyon no longer suspicious
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News Archives
PROVO — Police say the death of a 20-year-old woman found Thursday in Provo Canyon is no longer considered suspicious.
"The tragic death of Hadley Boberg appears to have been caused by a combination of alcohol and weather-related factors," Utah County Sheriff's Lt. Tom Hodgson said, citing preliminary findings from the medical examiner.
Boberg and a 21-year-old male friend went up the canyon Wednesday. When Boberg did not return home, her parents called police Thursday morning. A couple of hours later, the male acquaintance was found sitting in Boberg's vehicle, and her body was found on the ground about 200 yards away.
Initially, investigators thought the situation was suspicious due to the answers the man was giving to police. They said he seemed confused and possibly evasive.
Now, Hodgson said, detectives believe the man was either still feeling the effects of the alcohol he had consumed or the frostbite he suffered.
"Could be the alcohol, could be hypothermia," he said. "Hypothermia can cause confusion."
The man was not wearing any shoes when he was found. Boberg had one shoe on when she was found, and the other was on the ground nearby. The temperature in that area Wednesday night reportedly dropped to 17 degrees. They were found at an elevation of about 7,420 feet.
Detectives believe both parties had consumed alcohol, lost the keys to their vehicle, and then walked and sometimes crawled around on the cold and wet ground searching for them.
At some point, Boberg either lay down on the ground or possibly tripped and fell, Hodgson said. He declined to reveal how much alcohol deputies found at the scene or how much they believe Boberg and her friend may have consumed.
Scrapes on the woman's arms that investigators originally thought may be defensive wounds are now believed to be scratches she received while the two were looking for their keys in the brush and trees.
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