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Is the Jordan River Parkway safe?


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DRAPER - Sunday's apparent homicide along the Jordan River Parkway trail once again raises questions of safety. The parkway has had a reputation for drugs and other crime.

While there have been cases of violent crime, but the regulars who use the parkway say they still feel safe.

Nearly every day during the spring, summer and fall, you'll find Sandee Brewer and her dog Caeser, walking on the Jordan Parkway trail.

"I did hear the news this morning," Brewer said, speaking of the death of 15-year-old Anne Kasprzak, found in the Jordan River along the trail Sunday. "My daughter told me. I'm so sad to hear that," Brewer said.

Even though she walks in the same area where Kasprzak was found, Brewer believes the trail is safe.

"I've never felt uneasy. I've always felt safe here," she said.

Stephen and Mickey Robbins, said they felt almost the same. While they both admitted to feeling a little uncomfortable when Mickey is by herself on the trail, They aren't especially worried.

"I worry about her walking alone, but when we're together I don't have any problem," Stephen Robbins said.

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Police departments in the valley report very few cases of violent crime, especially of apparently random victims, in recent times. However, two years ago an 18-year-old woman was stabbed to death near the trail in Taylorsville. Police determined Heather Quast was murdered as the result of a drug deal gone bad.

Salt Lake County maintains the trail between Bluffdale and 21st South, 25 miles in all. Over the past few years, crews say they have worked hard to clear brush away from the trail and Hayden Llewellyn, who is on the trail almost daily, agrees.

"They've been cleaning out a lot of the non-native trees, a lot of the non-native bushes, so you are seeing a lot of the clearing out," he said.

Llewellyn also said that he has been on many different parts of the trail and hasn't had a problem with any of it.

Draper police said this afternoon the death of Kasperzack does not appear to be a random crime. Of course police caution people, as always, to avoid the trail after dark, to jog with a friend and to immediately report any suspicious activity they encounter, while enjoying the trail.

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Sam Penrod

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