A human skull found in Big Cottonwood Canyon in August has been identified as the remains of a man who disappeared more than a year ago.

Investigators believe the skull is that of Danny Moffitt, who would have been 38, of Taylorsville.

A little more than a year ago, Moffitt was camping at Lake Mary near Brighton Ski Resort. He and others had been drinking that night and later got into an argument, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson. The argument reached the point where Moffitt left the campsite. Family members thought he had walked down to the car and they would find him the next day.

The next morning, however, Moffitt was nowhere to be found.

In August, hikers near the Millicent Ski Lift found a skull at the bottom of a sheer rockface among a pile of rocks, Hutson said. The skull was fractured.

A tip from a family member after the discovery appeared in the Deseret News gave investigators a starting point. They then took DNA from a tooth in the skull and put it into a DNA database of criminals. A match was found for Moffitt, who was convicted in 2003 of robbery and possessing a hoax weapon of mass destruction, and the skull was positively identified.

Investigators believe Moffitt likely fell off a cliff and suffered severe head trauma.

— Pat Reavy