Update: New details revealed as suspect is booked for Sandy woman’s murder

Jan Pearson-Jenkins and Cody Young. Photo: Sandy Police Department
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JUAB COUNTY, Utah, Oct. 14, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — New details have been released in the case of a missing Sandy woman whose body is believed to have been found Saturday morning in the Silver City area of Juab County.

The woman, 64-year-old Jan Pearson-Jenkins, had gone camping with 42-year-old Cody Alexander Young, and was last heard from a week before a missing person alert was issued by the Sandy Police Department on Thursday.

A search took place on Saturday morning, and volunteers located first the campsite, then the female body.

“The female had marks and bruising on the back and legs as well as a mark on her head,” says the probable cause statement filed after Young’s arrest. “It appeared the body had been exposed to the elements for some time.”

Young was located at Yuba State Park, and has been booked on a charge of suspicion of murder, a first-degree felony.

“Cody was reported to be in somewhat of a relationship with Jan,” the statement says. “The pair had reportedly left Jan’s home in Sandy to go camping and looking for rocks on Oct. 3. Family last had contact with Jan on that same day.”

Young answered questions posed by investigators.

“Cody stated that he and Jan had made arrangements to go camping and looking for rocks,” the statement says. “He stated that Jan had wanted to go to an area near Delta… Cody stated that by the time they came through Eureka it was getting dark and a decision was made to pull off the highway onto the Silver City Road.”

Young told detectives that they made a camp in an area near the main road for that night as well as Thursday night, Oct. 4.

“Cody stated that on Thursday, a conversation regarding money and repair work that had been performed at Jan’s mother’s residence came up. Cody and Jan got into an argument resulting in Cody placing Jan’s belongings outside the van and telling her they were ‘done.'”

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. 

“Cody stated that shortly after finding another spot and setting up camp he and Jan got into another argument,” the 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.

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“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 — who detectives said is a transient and lives out of his van — stayed at a gas station parking lot in Nephi for the next two days, he said. During that time, the statement says, he sent several messages to Pearson-Jenkins’ family members advising them that he had left her in an area near Silver City, and gave them an approximate GPS location. 

“Cody stated that he and Jan had been arguing and that he could not take it anymore,” the probable cause statement says.

“Cody stated he was hurting and needed to remove himself from the situation,” the statement goes on. “Cody stated that he then traveled to the area near Yuba and had been there ever since. He stated that he thought that something bad could have happened to Jan.

“Cody stated that he had received a link to a news report showing Jan was missing, and law enforcement was actively searching for him. Cody made no attempt to contact law enforcement. He would not admit to any physical violence between him and Jan. Cody admitted that he was aware that by leaving Jan, something might possibly happen to her.”

Young’s van has been retained as evidence and a search of the van is pending after detectives secure a search warrant.

The body was transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner to be positively identified and to determine a cause of death.

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.

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