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Body found in American Fork Canyon believed to be missing trail runner, officials say

(Jon Scott)

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AMERICAN FORK — Authorities have located a body believed to be a trail runner who went missing on Halloween, officials said Saturday.

Search and rescue crews believe the deceased is 28-year-old Derrik Jenkins, according to a news release from Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

The body was found shortly before 1:30 p.m. in “a steep terrain" near Box Elder Peak above the Granite Flat Campground, Cannon said.

The cause of death was unknown Saturday but "it was apparent the body had sustained significant injuries likely incurred as the result of a fall," Cannon said.

The body will be transported to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy, where official identification is expected.

Volunteers and officials had been looking for Jenkins, of Pleasant Grove, since Thursday when he was reported missing from work.

Jenkins was last heard from about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday when he parked his car at the Granite Flat Campground near Tibble Fork Reservoir to go for a run, according to Cannon. He was expected back on Wednesday evening, but never returned, authorities said.

Volunteers searched for Jenkins Saturday morning with binoculars and telescopes near Box Elder South Peak in American Fork Canyon, according to a Facebook post about the search.

At least 40-50 people had searched in the area Saturday, according to Cannon. Two helicopters and a plane had also assisted.

Crews took advantage of weather conditions Saturday which were clearer and more favorable than on Friday, Cannon said. He said search and rescue crews had found lots of tracks in the area, but could not confirm that any of the tracks belonged to Jenkins.

Jenkins was in the area to continue his goal of reaching 100 unique peaks in the Wasatch Front this year, according to his friend. Jenkins was about 15 peaks away from reaching that goal Wednesday, and some of his friends believed he was aiming to reach Box Elder Peak or Silver Lake Peak when he went to the area on Wednesday.

Contributing: Yvette Cruz,

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