MURRAY — While a missing American Fork man’s family scaled back its search last week, authorities said Tuesday they are now eyeing his last known location in Murray as the search for the missing man continues.
Paul Swenson, 30, was last seen leaving his home in American Fork on July 27, though police said on July 28 his phone was last pinged near 4700 South and 900 East in the Murray area and his vehicle was found in the Salt Lake City’s Glendale neighborhood.
“As far as the police portion of the investigation, it has not been scaled back at all,” said American Fork Police Sgt. Josh Christensen.
Unified police are now assisting in searches near the area Swenson was last known to possibly be. Other than that, it remains a mystery for authorities searching for the man.
“They’re going to start doing quite a bit of the investigation just because everything we’ve had over the last 12 days has shown the last location can put him at is up in their area,” Christensen added. “(They’re) is helping us out a great deal with continuing the move forward on this.”
Unified police detective Ken Hansen said a detective within the department has been assigned to the case and officers have interviewed people he might be associated with in the area. He said officers have been trying to put together "bits and pieces" of the case.
Police have been conducting active searches in the central Salt Lake Valley area, and officers have been instructed to be on alert for Swenson, Christensen added.
Meanwhile, tips of where Swenson could possibly be continue to pour in. Police have received “pages” of tips since Swenson vanished, though tips have slowed down slightly over the past few days, Christensen said.
Authorities have received many of these tips through social media, though it has been broken up into separate pages. Swenson’s family deleted an original Facebook page dedicated to finding the man and created a second page last week.
“Every day we look for you. We search street corners and meet with those helping in the case. We wait. And wait. And wait. When a possible sighting occurs we rush to the scene. I would have never guessed at how difficult it is to find a missing person,” Swenson’s mother posted on the current page Tuesday. “I never realized the amount of energy and effort, the immense amount of individuals that an operation like this takes to make it work. You were my little boy. I am the one that pulled you up on my lap and cuddled you in my arms at the end of the day.”
In the middle of this, separate pages unaffiliated to the family popped up, including a popular “uncensored” page that had more than 16,500 members, as of Tuesday afternoon.
In the end, Christensen said police are searching any possible tips sent their way.
“We’re accepting of every tip possible. We just want to find him,” he said. “Anything we can get — even if we find out it’s not the case or not him — at least we tried that one and made sure. The last thing we’d want is for something to come in and it is legitimate and we didn’t do anything to follow up on it.
“We’re still taking every (tip) and chasing them down as much as possible.”
Swenson is 6 feet tall and 190 pounds, with red hair and hazel eyes. His hair is short on the sides and longer on the top, police said. He was last seen wearing a heather-gray short-sleeved shirt, black jean pants and black Converse shoes. He has a half-sleeve tattoo on his right arm.
Anyone with any possible information about Swenson is encouraged to call American Fork police at 801-794-3970 or Salt Lake police at 801-799-3000.