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Search warrant provides more details about death of man found in shallow grave

Search warrant provides more details about death of man found in shallow grave

(Utah County Sheriff's Office)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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INDIANOLA, Sanpete County — A newly unsealed search warrant gives more details about what Wesley Dee Nay, 22, was doing before remains of his charred body were discovered in a shallow grave in a wooded area on the border of Utah and Sanpete counties.

As of Tuesday, no one had been arrested or charged in connection with the homicide investigation. But based on the warrant released Tuesday, there appears to be no shortage of suspects or people of interest for detectives to interview.

Nay was reported missing on Sept. 18, though the last time he was seen was on Aug. 29. His body was discovered in a shallow grave in a remote area near U.S. 89, about 2,000 feet inside the Utah County line near a church in Indianola.

The Utah County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigating agency in the case, but investigators from Sanpete County are also heavily involved.

Nay, who was living with a couple in their backyard, was seen getting into a vehicle on Aug. 29, according to a search warrant affidavit filed by the Sanpete County Sheriff's Office.

That driver was later arrested in Salt Lake County and booked into the county jail. The vehicle he was driving was confirmed to be stolen on Aug. 20 in Ephraim, the warrant states.

When interviewed at the jail, the man told sheriff's investigators that he and Nay "drove around town through the night, used drugs (marijuana and methamphetamine), and eventually ended up" at another residence in Mount Pleasant, according to the warrant.

The next day, he claimed he drove Nay back to where he picked him up, the warrant states.

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Police interviewed the man at the Mount Pleasant residence. He told detectives that when Nay arrived at his house, he got into an argument with another man who "was accusing Mr. Nay of being a sex offender or pedophile, which upset Mr. Nay," the warrant states.

The man who had his truck stolen told investigators "he discovered in the bed a shovel, a pick and two gas cans that did not belong to him," according to the warrant.

On Oct. 3, a man with a lengthy criminal history contacted the Sanpete County Sheriff's Office claiming "he’d heard that Mr. Nay had been shot, dumped in a hole and burned," according to the warrant.

The shallow grave was discovered by hunters on Oct. 19. Investigators who examined the site found charred bones, including a human skull, and clothing, the affidavit states.

On Oct. 25, the Utah State Medical Examiner confirmed the remains were those of Nay, and that "there were signs of trauma to the head."

In a follow-up interview with the Mount Pleasant resident, he claimed that the man who originally picked up Nay also borrowed a chainsaw. He said he was told "the chainsaw was to be used to cut wood to burn evidence and flesh. According to (the Mount Pleasant man), (the other man) also asked him if he had ever seen flesh burn," the warrant states.

When asked where he and the other man had cut wood, the Mount Pleasant man "drew two maps and pointed out a location on a satellite photo, an area only a few feet from where the body of Wesley Nay was found," the warrant states.

Law enforcers again interviewed the man who had given Nay a ride. When asked about the wood cutting, he said, “I was told to cut the wood and leave it there," the warrant states.

Among the items collected when sheriff's deputies served a search warrant on that man's residence was "blood on gravel (with) hair," according to a return on the search warrant.

Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said detectives are still collecting evidence and trying to verify all the stories, which is why no one has been arrested in connection with the murder.

However, some people have been arrested in connection with other crimes not related to Nay's death that were discovered during the course of the investigation, Cannon said.

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Pat Reavy

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