The Justice Files: Where’s ‘Red?’

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) –  Jack Jason Simmons is listed as a missing person on the state’s data base. But recent developments may change the case to an unsolved murder.

Simmons who was known as “Red” disappeared in 1994. His family lived out of state and staying in touch was not common.

“We had kind of an odd relationship, brotherly relationship,” said his brother Michael Simmons. “We didn’t talk much.”

But 26 years after Simmons’ disappearance, his older brother wished he could meet with him again. Jason Simmons, as he’s known by his family, lived in Salt Lake County for nearly six years before his disappearance.  In April of that year his father from Colorado paid him a visit.

“His roommate said last he saw him, he’d had his ghetto blaster and headed to (unload) truck,” said the older brother.  

Jason worked locally unloading cargo from trucks.  His roommate told the father that he was surprised to learn he’d gone to work.  They’d learned Jason was hospitalized recently after someone hit him with a hammer.

“Somebody assaulted him a week before that with a hammer so he’s been in the hospital,” said Simmons.  “I guess he didn’t know who he was for a couple of weeks.”

A month later, there was a warrant issued for Jason’s arrest.  He failed to show up in court on drug charges.

“My little brother was heavily involved in drugs, cocaine and methamphetamines,” said Simmons.

Eventually his parents filed a missing persons report with local authorities in Salt Lake. But they were told Jason was an adult and there was no search conducted for the red-headed 24-year-old.

“My mom was able to contact the hospital and get the medical records of him from when he was assaulted by the hammer weeks prior,” said the older brother.  “He was actually listed as a missing endangered person at that time.”

Michael Simmons said his mother took it upon herself to search for him.  She went through his neighborhood, the streets of Salt Lake and even homeless shelters.  She heard rumors but there wasn’t anything that indicated where he was or what had happened to him.

“It a very hard topic for my mom to deal with,” said Simmons. “Every time the phone rang (she was) hoping that it was my little brother.”

In 2018, Jason Jensen, a private investigator contacted the family indicating he was interested in looking into the disappearance.  A year later he had uncovered new information that may turn the case into an unsolved murder.

“He ironically came up with somebody that told him where my little brother was probably buried at.”

Friday, part two of the disappearance of “Red” will continue as the private investigator focuses on a campground in Box Elder County.

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Marcos Ortiz
Emmy award winning journalist and producer, reporter of the Justice Files seen nightly on ABC4, begining his career in Blythe California with stops in Green River and Cheyenne Wyoming. He was hired to be KGGM’S political reporter in Santa Fe, New Mexico before arriving in Salt Lake City in 1992 as a general assignments reporter before moving into the crime beat.

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