SALT LAKE CITY — The family of a Utah woman whose body was found in a river wants police to investigate whether her death involved foul play, a family spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Authorities were awaiting autopsy results and have not yet determined the cause of death of 30-year-old Kayelyn Louder, who was last seen alive on Sept. 27 leaving her condo barefoot in the rain without her phone or keys.
Her cousin Amy Fugal said Louder appeared to be afraid of something before her disappearance, and family members think it's unlikely she died after accidentally falling into a creek near her home in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray.
"It's hard knowing exactly what happened without more information, but I feel like she was scared and I feel like something terrible happened to her," said Fugal, acting as a spokeswoman for the family.
Fugal said there were no visible signs of trauma on Louder's body when it was found on Dec. 1 partially submerged in the Jordan River by workers inspecting drainage pipes about six miles downstream from her home and Little Cottonwood Creek.
Murray police Officer Jeff Maglish declined to comment on whether investigators believe foul play was involved.
"Like with any case, we follow up with any kind of lead, anything we have we'll continue down that road," Maglish said.
The search for Louder involved hundreds of people and lasted more than nine weeks.
Volunteers searched the Jordan River without seeing any sign of Louder, Fugal said, asking how she could have been in the water for nine weeks without losing the loose clothing she was wearing when she went missing. Her body was still clothed when she was found, and her keys haven't been found, Fugal said.
Police have said that surveillance video shows Louder walking near her condo looking agitated and talking to herself shortly before she went missing.
She also made 911 calls hours before her disappearance reporting things that responding officers couldn't confirm.
She had lost her job as a social worker the day before she went missing.
Fugal said her cousin was talking to her dog in the video.
"She in no way was acting crazy," she said.
Fugal wants police to look more carefully at the 911 calls, including one reporting an intruder at Louder's home.
Fugal said Louder was last seen by neighbors who looked out a window of their home and saw her in the rain, hiding near a car and trying to open gates before running away.
Police said Louder had no history of mental illness but her roommate told investigators that Louder was acting strangely shortly before she went missing.
Fugal, however, said Louder had normal conversations hours before her disappearance, including a Facebook chat with a high school friend.
The family has hired a private investigator, and a group called We Help the Missing is taking anonymous tips about the case at 866-660-4025.