Police ask hunters, others visiting Kamas area to report evidence of West Valley City homicide victim

Maren Carlson. Photo: West Valley City Police

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Aug. 18, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — West Valley City police are asking the public, especially people living in or visiting the Kamas area, for information on suspected homicide victim Maren Carlson, whose body may be in that area.

“As the fall and hunting seasons bring more Utahns to the mountains, the West Valley City Police Department is asking for those spending time around the Kamas area to keep an eye out for evidence in a homicide case,” a WVCPD statement says.

“Maren Carlson (08/11/1922) has been missing since November 2021. It is suspected that she was murdered by her grandson, and her body potentially disposed of in that area.”

The statement says a woman reported Nov. 12, 2021, that she had escaped her husband, Gaman Shawn Cunningham, after being held captive by him in their home. The woman also said Cunningham had killed his 99-year-old grandmother, Carlson, who lived at the same residence.

Investigators developed information suggesting Cunningham may have disposed of his grandmother’s body in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest near State Route 150 (Mirror Lake Highway) or State Route 35.

During multiple operations, the area was searched by West Valley City police officers, assisted by Summit County and Wasatch County sheriff’s officials, along with their search and rescue teams and multiple cadaver dogs.

No evidence of Carlson was found, police said.

Carlson was last seen wearing pink pajamas with a floral design and may have been wearing a robe. She stood 4 feet 11 inches, weighed 85 pounds and had white hair.

Cunningham was charged by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office in December 2021 with aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping, both first-degree felonies; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; two counts of aggravated assault, and three counts of illegal discharge of a firearm, both third-degree felonies, the statement says.

Cunningham died by suicide in March while in custody, it says.


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