SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Medical Examiner's Office has positively identified a body found in Juab County over the weekend as that of a missing Sandy woman.
But investigators aren't saying how Jan Pearson-Jenkins, 64, died. Juab County Undersheriff Brent Pulver said Thursday that his office is not commenting on that information for now.
A man whom Pearson-Jenkins was believed to be with during a camping trip that weekend, Cody Alexander Young, 42, was arrested for investigation of murder in connection with her death and booked into the Juab County Jail. But as of Thursday, formal charges had not been filed against him.
Under state law, prosecutors have 72 hours to file charges or they must release a suspect from jail unless a judge grants an extension. Pulver said the Juab County Attorney's Office has filed an extension to hold Young in jail.
An initial court hearing could happen on Tuesday, he said. A secretary with the Juab County Attorney's Office said no one was available on Thursday to comment on whether there would be a court hearing early next week.
Jace Pearson, Pearson-Jenkins' brother, said Thursday that the family has not been told about any preliminary cause of death, but was told to be prepared for a Tuesday court hearing.
Young and Pearson-Jenkins were believed to have gone camping on Oct. 4 in the Silver City area of Juab County. The couple was in "somewhat" of a relationship, according to a jail report. But Young claimed they got into an argument that night and again the next morning. Young would later tell police the argument was over money and that the two had smoked methamphetamine together that night, police said.
On Oct. 5, Young said "he did not feel comfortable being around Jan any longer," according to the report. He told police he locked the doors of his van and drove away as she tried to open the driver's door about 4 p.m.
Young said he contemplated returning to get Pearson-Jenkins, but decided to contact her brother instead.
Pearson-Jenkins' family received a text from Young that same day claiming that he left her in the Silver City/Eureka area. She did not have a cellphone and police said she was not dressed for inclement weather. Pearson-Jenkins' brother said the texts he received were bizarre.
On Saturday, Pearson-Jenkins' nude body was discovered in a sage brush area near where the couple had allegedly camped. She "had marks and bruising on the back and legs as well as a mark on her head. It appeared the body had been exposed to the elements for some time," the report states.Comment on this story
About two hours after that discovery, rangers at Yuba State Park spotted Young and his van near Yuba Lake, about 45 miles from the campsite. He was questioned by detectives and later arrested in connection with Pearson-Jenkins' death, the undersheriff said.
Young, who police say is homeless and lives in his van, said he stayed in a Nephi parking lot for two days after leaving his girlfriend behind. "Cody stated he was hurting and needed to remove himself from the situation," deputies wrote in the report.
He allegedly said he then went to the Yuba Lake area, where he remained until he was found on Saturday. Young also said he had read news reports about his missing girlfriend.