Man charged with manslaughter 9 months after girlfriend’s death in Juab County

Cody A. Young. Photo: Juab County

JUAB COUNTY, Utah, July 9, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Charges have been filed against a man more than nine months after he said he abandoned his girlfriend during a Juab County camping trip and was she later found dead.

Cody Young, 43, has been charged on suspicion of manslaughter, a second-degree felony, in the death of 64-year-old Jan Pearson-Jenkins, or Sandy. He also has been charged on suspicion of tampering with evidence, a class A misdemeanor.

A probable cause statement filed in the case says that Pearson-Jenkins’ death occurred on or about Oct. 5, 2018.

“Cody Alexander Young had been camping in his van with JPJ (Jan Pearson-Jenkins) near Silver City,” says a probable cause statement filed Monday by the Juab County Attorney’s Office. “That evening shortly after 9:30 p.m., Young called JPJ’s family and left a message that he left her ‘out here’ and was tired of her.

“JPJ’s nude body was discovered near Silver City on October 13, 2018. Young left JPJ without her cell phone, transportation, or provisions, and the clothing she had were shorts, a shirt, and a sports bra which were unsuitable for the cold wet weather.”

Temperatures in the 30s to 60s were reported that day, with relative humidity from 40 to 100 degrees.

“Young admitted to officers that they had used methamphetamine together but claimed it was on October 4. Young has messages with JPJ from an earlier occasion telling her that her bad reaction to meth was because he had heated it too much. Young had methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in his van.”

In an October 2018 interview, Young told law enforcement officials that he and Pearson- Jenkins argued about money and repair work that had been performed at Jan’s mother’s residence.

“Cody and Jan got into an argument resulting in Cody placing Jan’s belongings outside the van and telling her they were ‘done,’” says a statement released at the time.

“Young said eventually he told Pearson-Jenkins he would give her a ride home, at which time she thanked him. He also said the pair smoked meth that night. He said that he and Pearson-Jenkins made up and decided to stay Thursday night in the same camping spot. The next morning, they set out so Young could take Pearson-Jenkins home, and then decided to find another camping spot and stay another night.

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“Cody stated that shortly after finding another spot and setting up camp he and Jan got into another argument,” the 2018 statement says. “Cody stated that he did not feel comfortable being around Jan any longer. He stated that he got into his van, started it up and locked the doors.

“Cody stated that as he was getting ready to drive away, Jan was trying to open the door on the driver’s side. Cody stated he drove away as Jan stood in the camping area with a beer in her hand.”

He told detectives he drove away at approximately 4 p.m., then drove a distance before stopping to have a cigarette.

“He stated he contemplated whether he should go back and pick Jan up,” the statement says. “Cody stated he chose to attempt to call Jan’s brother and tell him where Jan was. Cody stated he was unable to make contact with Jan’s brother via telephone so he decided to send a message.”

Young returned to Silver City on Oct. 6 and took pictures of his van and one camp chair in the same vicinity where JPJ would be found dead, says the the statement filed Monday.

“At no time did Young alert police she was out there,” the statement says. “On October 7, Young messaged JPJ that he couldn’t believe he left her there with nothing and didn’t know if she was OK. The SIM cards for JPJ’s phone were removed from a phone and found within Young’s property.”

The Medical Examiner’s report for Pearson-Jenkins’ death listed the cause as hypothermia with a contributory condition of recent methamphetamine use. She also had notable minor blunt trauma of head, torso, and extremities, the report said.

The tampering charge arose from allegations that Young removed the Pearson-Jenkins’ SIM card from her phone. It was found in his possession.

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