Police need help identifying murder victim

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WEST JORDAN -- For the second day in a row, investigators are scouring a muddy field looking for evidence related to a man's death. Investigators say evidence leads them to believe the man found face down in the mud was murdered.

Sgt. Drew Sanders of the West Jordan Police Department said, "We found some items out there, but whether or not they're tied to this, we don't know yet. It's too early in the investigation."

The man wasn't found with any identification, but he did have a passport-style photo on him.

Police released the picture of the victim Monday afternoon. They don't know who he is, but say the victim is heavy-set and in his 30s.

A couple spotted the man submerged in the mud next to a couch in the field near 7400 South and 6400 West on Sunday afternoon. His body was about 25 feet from the roadway, along the outskirts of a residential development, where it appears trash and debris have been dumped.

"He was partially submerged where you could see that a body was there, lying on the ground, but some of it was certainly down in the mud," Sanders said. "It is very deep mud out there."

The man had been shot several times, including once in the stomach, and there were blood spots nearby. Police found the gunshot wound to his abdomen when they turned the man over.

Investigators are searching through the field a section at a time using metal detectors, hoping to find any signs of a weapon. However, weather conditions are making it difficult.

"It is very soupy mud, for lack of a better term, and with the weather that is bound to come in today, it is bound to be worse," Sanders said. "It is very difficult conditions, certainly some of the most difficult crime scene conditions one could ask for."

Investigators say it doesn't appear the victim was in the field for very long before being found.

Police say on Saturday around 5 p.m., someone saw three men arguing in the area. They were seen in an older, black full-sized flatbed truck with wooden side rails.

An autopsy is now being performed, and investigators say they're hopeful they'll know who he is and have more information about his death once it's completed.

The West Jordan Police Department is requesting assistance from the public to help solve this crime. They are asking anyone with information regarding this incident, please contact Sgt. Rees at 801-256-2000.


Story compiled with contributions from Shara Park, Marc Giauque and Sandra Yi.

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