Utah County Sheriff's Department officials have confirmed the identity of a body found in a shallow grave Saturday night as being that of a Salt Lake man missing for more than two years.
Lt. Frank Wall said after comparisons of dental records, the State Medical Examiner's Office has identified the body as being that of Barry Randall Guritz, who was the subject of a Crime Stoppers television spot earlier this year.Guritz, who was 39 at the time of his death, was last seen by his wife, Tina, on June 17, 1988. She reported him missing on June 22, 1988, and later his 1976 Ford El Camino was found abandoned at the South Towne Mall.
The medical examiner's office has also indicated that Guritz's death was caused by a gunshot wound to the head more than two years ago, and officials are investigating the death as a homicide.
"We're pursuing some leads in the case based on evidence found at the crime scene," Wall said. "We feel that we have some positive leads that we are currently investigating, though we don't have enough evidence to make an arrest."
Guritz's fully clothed body was discovered partially uncovered and wrapped in a tent by three pheasant hunters near the Fairfield cemetery Saturday night. Investigators unearthed the body and conducted a preliminary search of the crime scene on Sunday.
Wall said that because all missing Utah County males had been accounted for, the sheriff's department sent rough general descriptions of the body, including its clothing, to other state agencies.
Descriptions of that clothing matched those of Guritz given by his wife at the time of his disappearance. The medical examiner's office positively identified the body on Monday afternoon, but the identification was delayed until his wife, who now lives out of state, was notified.