SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – They’ve been missing for 35 years and their disappearance remains a mystery. But the sister of Lloyd Reese doesn’t believe he’ll ever be returning.
“Deep down, I know that he’s not alive,” said Thunder Alexander. “If he was alive, we would have heard from him by now.”
In June 1985, Alexander was seven-years old when her bigger brother brought a candy bar and split it in half. The 14-year-old then gave each Alexander and a young brother a half. He then said goodbye.
“He had decided that he and some friends wanted to go up to East Canyon Reservoir,” she said. “He left and he never came back.”
Witnesses told police that Reese and 21-year-old David Jaramillo were at the campsite before disappearing.”I know that they did a hunt,” she said. “I don’t know if they did a real good sweep of East Canyon Reservoir. I was real young, I was only 7.”
But to date, they and the vehicle Jaramillo was driving have never been found. In 2010, Salt Lake City gathered the family and announced at a press conference that they were planning to re-open the investigation. At the time it gave the families some hope that they could finally have answers.
“Whether it”s good or bad, we just want some closure,” said Paul Jaramillo, David’s brother told reporters at that 2010 press conference.
But that hope soon vanished after the police investigation resulted in a dead end.
“There’s a lot of things that just don’t add up,” said Alexander. “A lot of things don’t add up to me like why nothing more has been done to find my brother.”
Police still list Reese and Jaramillo as missing. There’s no evidence of foul play. But after 35-years the Utah Cold Case Coalition is planning to launch their own investigation. The non-profit group specializes in unsolved murders and missing persons.
“They were last seen leaving the location,” said Jason Jensen, a member of the coalition.
Jensen said Salt Lake City police have not shared any reports on the case. But based on news accounts from that time period he said there is information that they were seen anywhere after that day. He also said there has never been any sighting of Jaramillo’s vehicle.
“So they either ended up in the lake or they just vanished,” Jensen said. “And I don’t think they vanished.” The coalition will soon team up with volunteers from Utah State University to probe the bottom of reservoir with an underground camera.
Alexander has mixed emotions about this latest development. She said on one hand it’s like opening an old wound but she wants answers.
“Every time I hear about it, I hope and pray this one time will be that closure,” she said.
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