SPRINGVILLE, Utah (News4Utah) – The uncle of Elizabeth Salgado is shocked, saddened and angry after hearing her niece was found dead.
Salgado’s remains were found last Friday in Hobble Creek Canyon. Authorities said a man who made a stop along the road noticed the human remains and eventually notified authorities.
Thursday, law enforcement in Utah County confirmed the human remains were those of Elizabeth Salgado who disappeared in Provo in 2015.
Wednesday, deputies with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office flew to her uncle’s home in California and personally notified him of the discovery.
“We are shocked because we cannot comprehend why anyone would hurt an innocent girl,” said Rosemberg Salgado. (When police called) I said ‘no, no, no, no!’ I was just hoping they were wrong.”
She had been in the U.S. for three weeks when she vanished in broad daylight after leaving a school that teaches English to foreign students.
And while Provo police investigated and family members questioned, there was no clue about her disappearance until last Friday.
Authorities said the man who found the human remains called his father and police were then notified.
“He described the scene as a skull and clothing,” said Lt. Spencer Cannon. “Investigators responded and confirmed what was reported that the remains were human.”
He said the medical examiner used dental records and DNA to confirm the identity.
“This is a homicide investigation under suspicious circumstances,” said Sheriff Jim Tracy. “But we don’t know how or why she ended up in Hobble Creek.”
Salgado’s uncle was in tears when asked about Elizabeth’s murder.
“Why would you kill someone like that?” he said. “It’s evil.”
Authorities said for now, they have no suspects, only persons of interest but they’re not naming names.
“Our eyes are wide open,” said Provo Police Chief Rich Ferguson. “We have a lady who was in he United States for three weeks. And so we have eyes that are wide open.”
Salgado said they have not been asked to be interviewed again. The family was cleared during the investigation. He said that he and others passed lie detector tests.”
“Nobody in my family would do something like this,” said Salgado. “I am very certain of this.”
He said Elizabeth had a boyfriend in Mexico who was obsessed with her and wasn’t happy that she came to the U.S.
Elizabeth’s uncle says he’s grateful for the work police have been doing and he has no doubt they will complete the job.
“We need to find this monster,” said Salgado. “Whoever did this, we’re going to find him. If you listen to me ‘you need to know we are going to find you.’”
Watch the full press conference below:
After learning of the discover of her body, Nomen Global Language Centers, the school Salgado attended, sent News4Utah the following statement:
Nomen Global is saddened to hear about the discovery of the remains of our former student Elizabeth Elena Laguna-Salgado. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to her family, friends and those who are mourning her loss at this time. We pray that this will bring closure and comfort to her family in this period of great difficulty.
Timeline of Elizabeth’s Salgado’s disappearance
- April 16, 2015: Elizabeth Salgado, 26, was last seen leaving the Nomen Global School in Provo. She never went back to her apartment, showed up for work or contacted any family.
- Her disappearance led to extensive searches and marches
- Within the first month of her disappearance, her family suspected foul play from a man she worked with.
- At the time, her body was believed to had been discovered in a suitcase alongside Interstate 80.
- The Salado’s received high-profile help from Elizabeth Smart and her father Ed, and Elizabeth Salgado’s mother desperately pleaded for her return.
- June 2015: A stranger called the Salgado family claiming to have her, demanding half a million dollars in ransom.
- Volunteers and police questioned the Elizabeth’s two uncles in her disappearance, but her family denied any involvement.
- August 2015: The Salgados announce Elizabeth’s father died because he couldn’t handle the stress.
- April 2017: Two years later, still no sign of Elizabeth.
- April 2018: Still no leads on the third anniversary of her disappearance
- May 24, 2018: The Salgado family and Utah County Sheriff’s Office confirm her body was found last Friday in Hobby Creek Canyon.