Utah County Jail
Jenna Ferguson, 23.

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman was found dead in a duffel bag near Seattle.

The body of Jenna Ferguson, 23, of Payson, was discovered Monday morning by a maintenance worker at an apartment complex, King County Sheriff's Sgt. Stan Seo said Friday.

The death is being investigated as a homicide, Seo said. A medical examiner has not been able to determine how Ferguson died.

"Our deputies arrived and confirmed what the maintenance worker had found," Seo said. "Based on the nature of how the body was found, it was obviously very suspicious."

Ferguson's decomposed body was identified Thursday through work by a medical examiner, Seo said. It is estimated she had been dead for about a week.

In statement, Ferguson's family said they are heartbroken to learn of the woman's death.

"Jenna was a generous, tender, loving person who could make anyone laugh. We are touched by the tremendous love and outpourings of kindness we are receiving," the family wrote, asking for privacy.

Ferguson was in Seattle participating in a church-based rehabilitation program, Gethsemane Ministries Church, which she walked away from on July 7, Seo said.

"What detectives are now trying to determine is where she was, what she doing and who she was with between July 7 or 8 and (Monday) when her body was discovered," Seo said. "We're looking to talk to anyone and everyone who may have been in contact with her."

Anyone with information about Ferguson's whereabouts between July 7 and July 27 is asked to call the King County Sheriff's Office at 206-296-3311.

A search of Utah court records indicate that Ferguson was convicted in 2012 of misdemeanor charges including theft, shoplifting, and possession of a controlled substance. She pleaded guilty in 2012 to burglary and theft, both amended to third-degree felonies, along with theft by deception, a class A misdemeanor. She served 10 days in Utah County Jail and was given three years of probation. The case was closed in November 2014.

Ferguson's most recent charge was for attempted retail theft, a class A misdemeanor. She pleaded guilty in September.

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