Emery County law officers have identified a woman found slain alongside Interstate 70 two years ago and are looking into the possibility her death may be connected to a suspected serial killer.
Sheriff LaMar Guymon said Friday detectives from his agency have been in contact with an Oregon task force piecing together the travels of a 28-year-old trucker authorities say is a possible suspect in as many as 20 slayings throughout the West.On May 9, 1990, passersby discovered the nude body of a woman in the brush along the eastbound lanes of I-70 near Green River in eastern Utah. She had been dead about three months. The Utah medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and said evidence indicated she had been strangled and beaten.
Guymon said the body was decomposed but that officials managed to obtain a set of fingerprints. About a month ago, he said a new computerized fingerprint identification system purchased by the state identified the victim as 19-year-old Vicky Lynn Perkins, a known prostitute from Portland.
That information led his detectives to Scott William Cox, a long-haul trucker jailed in Newberg, Ore., on charges he murdered two Portland prostitutes in 1990 and 1991.
"He's pretty handy," Guymon said. "We spent a week up there and found out that she'd been running around all over the place," including apparently working as a hooker at truck stops.
Cox also is a suspect in an attempted homicide in Washington.
Oregon State Police Lt. Karl Nelson, who is directing the task force, said evidence shows Cox traveled extensively throughout the West, apparently including Utah, during the past several years.
"It's all pretty preliminary right now, but I don't know of anything that would preclude Cox as a suspect" in the Utah killing, he said. "Of course we're interested in the fact that she was from here."
The task force is gathering information on Cox's whereabouts during the past several years through truck logs and other information, Nelson said. Once completed and correlated, the information will be made available to law enforcement officials on request.