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Father refused to give up search for missing son

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VERNAL, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – The bodies of the three men missing from Vernal were found in a river Wednesday, according to a family member.
 
Officials say Robert Alan Spoon, 33,  Jason Ralph Tilt, 33, and Jacob Douglas Tilt, 29, were last seen May 22 in a black Chevrolet. Their family members were worried after none of the men would return their phone calls. 
 
Family, friends, and officials have been searching the area ever since.
 
“I finally had enough. I knew where my boy was,” said Robert Spoon, Sr.
 
His son, Robert, hadn’t called since the night of May 22 — when, according to Robert Spoon, Sr., his son had gone into Vernal for dinner with Jacob and Jason Tilt.
 
 
“It’s just real hard for me to know my boy’s been in there for a month,” said Spoon.
 
“I just think he drove off the road and before it was too late, he hit his brakes,” added Spoon.
 
But after the disappearance of those three men, nobody knew where they were. So Spoon used a magnet and a hook to search the water. He says just days after their disappearance, he discovered the truck some 20 feet underwater.
 
But, Spoon says, he couldn’t convince the county sheriff to search that spot of the river. Spoon planned to hire a crane, but on Wednesday the sheriff’s office posted to Facebook announcing that they had worked with a crane to remove a truck that matched a missing person’s report.
 
Officials with the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office said the truck has been pulled from the river and the men’s bodies have been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office.
 
“It’s just a sad thing, my boy beat me to the grave, it’s just beyond me,” said Spoon.
 
The Sheriff’s office posted this to their Facebook page:
 
On June 21, 2017 the search efforts continued for 33 year old Robert Spoon, 33 year old Jason Tilt and 29 year old Jacob Tilt. A targeted area of the Green River in Jensen, Utah was searched and at approximately 11:30 a.m. a vehicle matching that of the missing persons was located and pulled from the river.
 
Investigators have moved the vehicle to an undisclosed location and are processing the vehicle to determine occupants, cause and manner in which the vehicle left the roadway. 
 
The occupants found within the vehicle will immediately be transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Salt Lake City, Utah to determine cause and manner of death. 
 
We would like to thank the families involved and the community for the various tip and leads that allowed for this targeted search. 
 
We would also like to thank J&C Crane for donating their time and equipment and for actively assisting in the recovery of the vehicle. We would also like to thank all the partnering agencies who assisted in the investigation and recovery of the vehicle. 
 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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