SALT LAKE CITY — It's been five months since the body of a missing Sandy woman was discovered naked on a sagebrush hillside in Juab County.
No one has yet been charged with the death of Jan Pearson-Jenkins, 64, and her autopsy report has not been publicly released.
But the Juab County Sheriff's Office says the case is still a "very active" investigation, and a newly released court document suggests that Pearson-Jenkins' boyfriend, Cody Young, 42, is still very much a suspect.
"Detectives have determined that much of what Cody Young claimed occurred in the days leading up to his leaving Jan and the discovery of Jan's body are not true," a detective with the sheriff's office wrote in a search warrant affidavit filed in 4th District Court.
On Oct. 3, Young and Pearson-Jenkins, who police say were in "somewhat" of a relationship, were believed to have gone camping and to look for rocks in the Silver City area of Juab County. But Young claimed they got into an argument on Oct. 4 and again the next morning. Young would later say the argument was over money and that the two had smoked methamphetamine together that night, police said.
On Oct. 5, Young sent Jace Pearson, Jan's brother, "text messages, Facebook Messenger messages as well as left voicemails … (indicating) that Cody could no longer take the berating and belittling Jan had directed towards him. Cody stated that he had left Jan in area near Silver City," according to the affidavit.
After Pearson-Jenkins' body was found, Young and his van were spotted near Yuba Lake, about 45 miles from the campsite where he said he had left Pearson-Jenkins.
"Cody stated he stayed at a gas station parking lot in Nephi for the next two days (after leaving her). Cody sent several messages to Jan’s family members. Cody stated he was hurting and needed to remove himself from the situation. Cody stated that he later traveled to the area near Yuba and had been there ever since. Cody stated that he had read the articles in the news about Jan," the affidavit states.
After he was found near Yuba, Young was arrested for investigation of murder. But as of Friday, he has only been formally charged with drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon. He pleaded guilty in November to all counts, misdemeanors.
Jace Pearson said Monday that based on conversations he's had with the Juab County Attorney's Office, he expects Young will face additional charges, though what those charges will be, he doesn't know.
Pearson has attended all of Young's court hearings, sitting in the front row and holding a picture of his sister for the judge to see at each hearing.
According to Pearson, his sister's updated death certificate lists her cause of death as hypothermia with methamphetamine being a contributing factor. But the manner of death is still listed as "unknown," he said. Pearson said while officials in Juab County have kept much of their investigation close to the vest, his family is encouraged by what they are hearing.
Even though he was sentenced to probation, a post-sentence investigative report was ordered by the judge and a review of his sentencing was ordered. Young was released from jail pending the hearings.
Shortly after pleading guilty, Young filed a motion in court to get his property, including his van, back claiming it was his home, according to court documents. But Juab County Attorney Ryan Peters opposed the request.
"(Young) does not argue that the property was improperly seized. His only argument is that, according to his timetable, the state has had the property long enough," Peters wrote in his reply fled in court. "By way of response, the state answers that (Young's) property is the subject of an ongoing investigation, above and beyond those charges to which (he) has pleaded. Young was booked in on, and continues to be investigated for, the crime of homicide."
The county attorney argued Young should not get his property back in order to "prevent tampering or altering of the evidence."
"Releasing the property at this point, would hinder the state’s homicide investigation and any potential prosecution at the conclusion of that investigation," the response states.
The judge agreed and denied Young's motion to have his property returned.
Some of that property that was found in Young's van, according to a newly unsealed search warrant, was Pearson-Jenkins' cellphone.
Before his arrest, Young told police "he noticed that Jan’s belongings were still in the van, as well as her cellphone. Cody noted that Jan’s bags and some clothing items such as shoes were also in the van. Cody stated that he had not went through the items and they were still currently within the van," the warrant states.
But according to investigators, "it was found that Cody is believed to have accessed Jan's phone. Cody had taken pictures of Jan's phones' internal build information for an unknown reason. Cody's phone was used to take the pictures," the warrant states. "The dates and time stamp on the photos showed that it was after Cody claimed to have left Jan on 10/05/18. Cody had accessed Jan's phone without permission. Cody also possessed the phone without Jan's permission."1 comment on this story
The affidavit further states, "It is believed there is a high likelihood that electronic evidence containing correspondence as well as pictures and video of Jan and Cody together will be found on the devices. These items are crucial in piecing together a timeline of the whereabouts and conditions of Jan and Cody during the time after they were last seen, as well as the time leading up to and the time after Jan was reported missing."
Several phones, a tablet and a laptop were found in Young's van, according to the warrant.
On Tuesday, a review hearing was held on Young's drug case. Young was not present for the hearing, according to court records. But during the hearing, Young's attorney indicated that "a motion to withdraw pleas may be filed," according to a court docket. The judge ordered that motion to be filed by March 26 if that was going to happen.