JUAB COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A man arrested in connection with the death of a Sandy woman has been released from jail, pending results of the woman’s autopsy.
Cody Young, 42, was taken into custody in October and was being held on first-degree felony criminal homicide charges after searchers found the body of Jan Pearson-Jenkins, a Sandy woman who had been missing during a camping trip.
Young was released after pleading guilty to misdemeanor drug and weapons charges, not related to the homicide, and since he has not been officially charged with the woman’s death, he had to be released.
Right now, the Juab County Sheriff’s Office is waiting for the results of the autopsy before they can move forward with the charges related to her death.
The pair had reportedly left her home in Sandy on October 3rd to go camping and looking for rocks. Her family never heard from her again.
Young told investigators the pair was on their way to Delta when they decided to stay and camp in their van through October 4th in Eureka because of the rain. After driving to another camping spot the next day, Young said he and Pearson-Jenkins got into an argument before he “got into his van, started it up, and locked the doors. He stated he drove away as Jan stood in the camping area with a beer in her hand.”
Young sent messages through Facebook to Pearson-Jenkins’ family with an approximate GPS location. He told them he left her in an area near Silver City after they were arguing and he “could not take it anymore.”
Undersheriff Brent Pulver with the Juab County Sheriff’s Office said search crews began looking for her every day since she was reported missing by family members on October 8th.
During a more extensive search a family member found Pearson-Jenkins’ body on a hillside. Probable cause statements said she was “nude with three articles of clothing found on the ground near her.”
She also had marks and bruising on her back, legs, and head. Investigators said her body appeared “exposed to the elements for some time.”
The investigation is on-going. At this time, it is unknown whether Pearson-Jenkins died from being left behind in the elements or if Young directly caused her death.