Utah County officials attempting to positively ID man found dead in field

John Everett Booth. Photo: Utah County Sheriff's Office

UTAH COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 6, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah County officials are attempting to positively identify a man found dead in a field last fall.

“On Oct. 14, 2021, deputies with the Utah County Sheriff’s office were dispatched to a report from a woman who said they found human remains on property they lease,” said a news release. “This property is west of Geneva Road between Provo and Orem. A family member found an ID card and bones in an area about 350 feet from the shore of Utah Lake.”

Until 2018 this area was covered with phragmites, an invasive perennial grass, the news release said. That year, officials with the state of Utah came and removed the phragmites along the shores of Utah Lake. Other than a road running along the shore, the phragmites, until about 2018, had been 6 feet to 8 feet tall on both sides of that road.

“Investigators arrived on scene and confirmed that the bones were human,” the news release said. “When the phragmites were cut in 2018 it exposed much of the area where the remains were found. It was clear that the remains had been there for many years. Some of the bones were scattered and some were broken. There were also remnants of clothing torn apart and scattered around the bones. It is possible the torn clothing and broken bones resulted when the phragmites were cut in 2018. These clothing remnants also showed significant signs of aging, consistent with having been in that location for many years.”

The name on the ID card is John Everett Booth. If he were alive today, Booth would be 75 years old.

“Investigators checked all known businesses, medical and mental health providers, law enforcement agencies, addresses, Utah Transit Authority, state of Utah, and jail booking records for Mr. Booth,” the news release said. “They also contacted families with a similar name but they do not know a John Everett Booth. Through all these efforts they have been unable to find anyone who knew or ever had contact with this man. The last jail booking record for Mr. Booth was Nov. 14, 1995, but his state of Utah ID card shows an issued date in 1999. Based on the social security number for Mr. Booth, he may be from or spent time living in Iowa.”

The condition of these remains is consistent with having been there since the late 1990s, as long as 23 years or more. While circumstances and evidence at the scene lead investigators to believe the remains are those of Booth, the medical examiner has been unable to positively identify them.

The following items were among items found around these remains: a Utah ID card, a Utah Transit Authority reduced fare card, a Utah Horizon food stamps card, a Smith’s Fresh Values frequent shopper card, a “Winner” brand shoe, a blue jacket and a Timex analog watch.

Anyone who knows of Booth, or has information about him, is asked to contact Detective Greg Sherwood at 801-851-4026 or 801-851-4010.


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