AMERICAN FORK, Utah, April 17, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The family of Jerika Binks has released a statement after a man climbing in a remote ravine in American Fork Canyon found human remains Sunday that may be those of the missing woman.
“The remains may be those of Jerika Binks, but positive identification has yet to be made,” said a news release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Monday.
On Tuesday evening, family members posted the following message to a Facebook page entitled “Finding Jerika.”
“The remains that have been found up American Fork Canyon have NOT been positively identified,” the post said. “Until the examiners complete a review of the skeletal remains, review all files and texts on the phone that was found, analyze the dental records and DNA, we will continue to wait.
“If she was injured, and still had her phone, we expect there may be files, videos, or texts that may reveal more.
“So, we will continue to wait for the examiner and other technical and soil recovery efforts. At that time, the family will make additional public statements.”
Deputies with UCSO were dispatched to contact a man who said he found remains while climbing in American Fork Canyon on Sunday shortly before 8:30 p.m., the news release said. Deputies and detectives responded to an area near mile marker 10 on SR-92, near Swinging Bridge picnic site.
“The man said he hikes regularly in that area but had never before hiked in this particular ravine,” the news release said. “The terrain is extremely rugged and steep and the remains were located on the north side of the canyon about 850 feet above the floor of the canyon.”
Several personal items were located with the remains that are consistent with descriptions of property known to be owned by Binks as described by family members and friends.
“While there was evidence of injury, there is no evidence at this stage of the investigation to suggest foul play was involved in this death,” the news release said. “The remains were recovered this morning, April 15, and have been taken to the Medical Examiner’s office in Taylorsville where positive identification will be made and, hopefully, cause and manner of death can be determined.”
Binks, who was 24 when she went missing, was last seen in person at about 9 a.m. on Feb. 18, 2018 in the area of 300 N. 1100 East (North Utah County Boulevard) in American Fork. She had been staying at a residential treatment center, and left to go for a run in American Fork Canyon.
Last May, her family released photographs they say were captured on a motion-activated camera on the day Jerika went running and didn’t return.
The “Finding Jerika” page on Facebook said the images were captured by a Utah Department of Natural Resources camera at approximately 1:30 p.m. on that day, which shows her on the Timpanogos Cave trail in American Fork Canyon.
UCSO Sgt. Spencer Cannon said that corresponds to the area where the human remains were found.
Since she went missing, there has been no activity from her phone or on her bank account. Binks left all her belongings behind except for her phone, including her wallet and ID, officials said.
Binks’ family, along with Fast Gas Convenience Stores and an anonymous donor, are offering a $10,000 reward for successful help in finding her or for details that lead to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved with her disappearance, according to information from the Facebook page.
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