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Police identify Taylorsville teen found dead in field

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KEARNS — Unified police are investigating the death of a 17-year-old boy whose body was found in a field Wednesday.

Julian Garcia was driven from his home in Taylorsville by his sister's boyfriend to meet up with some friends in Kearns on Feb. 9, Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray said. When the boy didn't return home by the next night, his family reported him missing. At that time, Garcia was listed as a runaway.

On Wednesday, as Unified police were following up on the investigation, they found Garcia's body about 6:30 p.m. in a field near 5800 West 5600 South.

Gray said there are no obvious signs of trauma. She said the body was taken to the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office to determine a cause of death.

Many questions remained unanswered Thursday, including how long Garcia may have been dead and how long he had been in the field. The body was located near a house and about 50-feet from a sidewalk. Gray said it was possible that the body had been covered by snow, and only recently was visible after the snow melted. It was not known if Garcia died where he was found. Gray said he was dressed in "very light clothing," and not for winter weather.

Investigators were still trying to determine exactly what house in the area he went to, and were in the process Thursday of finding the friends he was with and interviewing them.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News


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