SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Two unnamed people are on the radar of detectives investigating the death of Elizabeth Salgado.
But Lt. Erik Knutzen who is overseeing the investigation of Salgado, isn’t ready to call them persons of interest.
“Maybe a better term is people we haven’t taken off the list because we’re not satisfied that they’re not involved,” said Lt. Knutzen.
In late June the remains of Salgado were discovered in Hobble Creek Canyon east of Springdale. In April 2017 she disappeared after leaving a language school in Provo.
Lt Knutzen said the two people that have their interest surfaced from the initial investigation by Provo Police.
“We’re not necessarily focused on them but we’re continuing our conversation with them,” he said.
He said the two people offered alibis but detectives aren’t convinced of their whereabouts after Salgado disappeared.
“We’re trying to get more in-depth information, Lt. Knutzen said. “These people have said ‘Hey I was at this place at this time’ and we’re not getting any of those confirmations and we’re going to keep following up until we get those confirmations of their whereabouts.”
Lt. Knutzen also said the medical examiner has still not determined Salgado’s cause of death.
“It’s going to be difficult because of the condition of the bones when they were found,” he said. “They had been there for quite some time and decomposed completely.”
He said investigators found few clues on the decomposed body that would offer them a clear path to what caused her death.
“We’re not finding really any tissue to follow up with and do any forensic testing with,” he said. “The bones that have been recovered, we’re not finding any obvious signs of injury to it.”
The possibility of strangulation or asphyxiation appears unlikely according to the lieutenant. He said the main bone in a strangulation, the hyoid bone, was not disturbed.
“Some of the bones are still intact so that leaves us to believe most likely it was not strangulation but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,” Lt. Knutzen said.
He said the medical examiner has not been able to detect evidence of blunt force traumer or a chemical overdose,
“We just can’t tell,” he said. “There is signs of that on the skull. There’s no signs of that on the bones that were found.”
Saturday, the Salgado family will hold a memorial service for Elizabeth in Orem. According to a Facebook posting by her mother, the service will take place at 5 p.m. at the Windsor LDS stake at 60 East and 1600 North in Orem.
“It’s a tragic event and I hope the family at some point gets closure on this and I know they’re going through a very difficult time and our thoughts are with them,” said Lt. Knutzen. “But from our end we will continue to push, this is a very serious thing for us. Its on our priority list.”