His next of kin were never notified because police couldn’t find them.
But Julie Giddens made the connection as she was going through the Namus.gov website.
“I get on there often,” said the former host of the “Zion’s Lost” podcast.
“While I was on there, there was a tab for unclaimed deceased,” said Giddens. “So, I decided to look at that tab.”
There she found the name of Grant Clinton Snyder, who died in December 2019. She also learned that authorities never found his next of kin.
A spokesman for Salt Lake City Police said they responded to a welfare check and entered his apartment near 500 East and 700 South. Police said he died alone of natural causes.
Giddens wanted to find his family and started navigating through numerous websites dealing with family history.
“On ancestry.com I was able to find a date of birth and the names of his parents,” Giddens said. “Obviously, his parents had been deceased for quite a while.”
It led her to another name, a former wife of Grant Clinton Snyder.
But she died earlier this year. The obituary gave Giddens her next clue; the names of their children.
“One of the sons is married to a woman with a very unusual name,” she said. “So I got on Facebook and looked up her and a woman matching the name. She was married to a man with the same name as the son.”
On the woman’s Facebook, it listed the name of Snyder’s son.
ABC4 sent him a message asking if he was aware of his father ever being in Salt Lake.
He responded by saying he learned of it after Giddens sent him a Facebook message.
He sent this message to ABC4: “He was never part of my life. I struggled, in my early years to understand the reasons for his absence and spent many years trying to find him. These attempts were unsuccessful. I forgave him as a child and wondered frequently throughout the years if he thought of us. I have always held out hope to one day see him, but that day has passed. My only hope now … is that he knew the Lord.”
Snyder’s son doesn’t indicate whether he would pursue tracking his father’s remains. It’s unknown whether Grant Snyder was buried or cremated by the state.
For Giddens, she had mixed feelings about the discovery.
“It’s kind of sad you know, families become estranged for all sort of reasons,” Giddens said. “I’m just happy that one way or another they know and Grant has some peace that his family will know that he passed.”