JUAB COUNTY (News4Utah) – Investigators have charged Cody Alexander Young, 42, with the murder of Jan Pearson-Jenkins, 64, the Sandy woman reported missing nearly one week ago near Silver City.
According to the probable cause statement, Young was in “somewhat of a relationship” with Pearson-Jenkins. Young has no family or other known ties in Utah. He is a transient and lives out of his van. His last known address is out of Arizona.
The pair had reportedly left her home in Sandy on October 3rd to go camping and looking for rocks. That was also the last day her family said they had any contact with her.
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.”
He claimed he drove a distance and contemplated whether he should go back and pick up Pearson-Jenkins. But instead, 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 effort Saturday morning, Pulver said a family member that was part of the search party found Pearson-Jenkins’ body on a sagebrush 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.”
Detectives said they received a tip that Young and his black van were near Yuba State Park. He was located and brought back to the Juab County Sheriff’s Office for interviewing.
Young told investigators he was aware something bad could happen to Pearson-Jenkins if he left her behind. Despite admitting to see news reports about her disappearance and law enforcement’s search for him as a person-of-interest, he never contacted police.
Documents stated, “Young knowingly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death to another, thereby caused the death of another.” Young has been charged with murder/criminal homicide.
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. Stay with News4Utah as we will bring you updates as they come in.