Authorities contact relatives of missing man believed to have been found in field near Utah Lake

UPDATE: The Utah County Sheriff’s Office said it eventually came into contact with the relatives of a missing man whose remains could have been found in October.

The remains have not been identified with certainty, but the identification discovered with the body belonged to John Everett Booth. Before the information was released to the media on Thursday, investigators attempted to contact Booth’s family.

Since the bones and other remains were discovered in October 2021, investigators have been scrambling to find out who they belonged to and so far the medical examiner has not made a positive identification.

“Thank you to everyone who provided information to help move this case forward,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Cannon said the identification process is expected to take several months.

The original story follows below.

OREM, Utah – Detectives from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office say they are working to positively identify a man who was found in a field near Utah Lake last October.

UCSO officials said detectives were sent to the field on October 14 after a woman reported finding human remains at a rental property west of the Geneva road between Orem and Provo.

“They thought it was just cattle bones because it happens all the time in farming and ranching operations, and then they came down and that’s when they got it. realized that they were in fact human remains, ”said Staff Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.

Before wrapping up on the remains, the family had found something two weeks earlier that made them curious.

“They got to find a little thing with the IDs and stuff with it,” said Karolyn Crookston. “And I’m like, we’ve got to call and see if he’s got any missing person thing.”

After coming out, it became obvious.

“I found the skull and it was face down on the ground,” Crookston said.

“Until 2018, this area was covered with Phragmites, an invasive perennial grass,” officials said. “That year, Utah state officials came to remove Phragmites along the shores of Lake Utah. “With the exception of a road along the shore, Phragmites were, until 2018, about 6 to 8 inches high on both sides of this road. “

Investigators confirmed the bones were human and said “the remains of clothing also showed significant signs of aging, consistent with the fact that they had been there for many years” – possibly since the end. from the 1990s.

Some of the clothes were torn and bones were shattered and scattered, and UCSO officials said this could be the result of the phragmites clearing by crews in the area in 2018.

“Some bones were broken, but again it is very likely that they were broken due to the activity that took place here, especially the mowing operation that took place,” said Cannon.

The ID card identified the man as John Everett Booth, who would be 75 if he was still alive today.

“Investigators checked all known companies, medical and mental health providers, law enforcement agencies, addresses, the Utah Transit Authority, the State of Utah and the records of prison reservation for Mr. Booth, ”authorities said. “They’ve also contacted families with similar names, but they don’t know of a John Everett booth. Through all of these efforts, they were unable to find anyone who knew or had ever been in contact with this man.

“Hopefully we can find someone so he can shut down, and if not, he’s now part of our family,” said Crookston.

Detectives said it was possible Booth was coming to or spent time in Iowa, based on his Social Security number.

“Although the circumstances and the evidence at the scene lead investigators to believe that the remains are those of John Everett Booth, the (Utah Office of the) Forensic Pathologist has not been able to identify them with certainty,” said officials said.

If anyone knows or has information about John Everett Booth, please contact Detective Greg Sherwood at 801-851-4026 or 801-851-4010.

The following items were found on the site:

  • utah id card
  • Utah Transit Authority Discount Card
  • Utah Horizon Food Stamp Card
  • Smith’s Fresh Values ​​loyalty card
  • “Winner” brand shoe
  • A blue jacket
  • timex analog watch

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