Bodies of missing Orem mom and son believed found in Juab County

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JUAB COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Orem Police confirmed Monday that the remains found near Eureka on Friday were preliminarily identified as those of a mother and her 3-year-old son, who went missing in 2015.

According to a press release, Orem Police and Juab County Sheriff’s Department, along with the FBI and Search and Rescue teams were trying to locate the bodies of Emily Quijano Almiron and her son, Gabriel when they came across what they believed to be a shallow grave in an area about five miles south of the city of Eureka. 

“It’s very desolate, a lot of sagebrush and cedar trees. It’s in an area I don’t think a lot of people frequent. I’m sure there are some people who come and go through that area, but the likelihood of someone coming across them themselves would have been very unlikely,” said Orem Police Lt. Trent Colledge.

Human remains were found inside this shallow grave. 

“The remains were extracted under a joint effort […].  Those remains have now been examined by the Medical Examiner’s Office and have been preliminarily identified as belonging to both Emily and Gabe,” said the release. “Our hearts also go out to the families of Emily and Gabe. We hope that these efforts have brought some peace and comfort into your lives.”

In August, Christopher Poulson admitted to killing his girlfriend, Emily and her son, Gabriel in 2015. He was arrested in Hawaii in 2017.

As part of his plea deal, he agreed to help authorities in locating their bodies. Prosecutors said they would support him and the defense in asking the judge to enter a new plea, if Emily and Gabe’s remains were found before the sentencing.

Poulson’s original guilty plea to charges of murder and manslaughter carries a possible life sentence. The new plea would be for 30 second-degree felonies, which would carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

“Poulson gave us some information that led us to the area out near Eureka. He was out there, trying to help us locate the bodies, and gave a description of where he believed he buried them. But he couldn’t provide us the exact location,” said Lt. Colledge. “That’s where we got involved with Search and Rescue to try and do an expanded search to see if we could locate them ourselves.”

Investigators said on September 8, 2015, Poulson was high on meth and caring for 3-year-old Gabriel while his mother Emily was at school. While Gabriel was in Poulson’s care, Poulson “injured him severely.” Realizing the child’s injuries were serious, he put him to bed hoping he would recover by morning.

Emily returned home, and she also went to bed. In the early morning hours of September 9th, Poulson checked on Gabriel and realized he had died during the night.

“At that point, he panicked and shot Emily, killing her,” Deputy Utah County Attorney Lance Bastian said during a press conference in August.

Bastian said Poulson ultimately confessed and agreed to the plea deal because of the strong case and evidence prosecutors had against him.

On Monday, Bastian told ABC4 News that Poulson’s defense attorneys attempted to schedule a hearing with Judge Lunnen on Tuesday. But if they were unable to, the earliest they would be able to see the judge is September 17th.

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