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Man charged 9 months after missing Sandy woman found dead in Juab County

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Updated - Jul. 8, 2019 at 5:31 p.m. | Posted - Jul. 8, 2019 at 4:46 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Following a nine-month investigation, a Nephi man was charged Monday with causing the death of a Sandy woman whose naked body was found on a sagebrush hillside in Juab County.

Cody Alexander Young, 43, is charged in Juab County's 4th District Court with manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a class A misdemeanor. A $50,000 warrant was issued for his arrest.

An autopsy from the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office determined that Jan Pearson-Jenkins, 64, died from hypothermia "with a contributory condition of recent methamphetamine use. (She) also had notable minor blunt force trauma of head, torso and extremities," according to charging documents.

On Oct. 3, Young and Pearson-Jenkins, who police say were in "somewhat" of a relationship, were believed to have gone camping and to look for rocks in the Silver City area of Juab County. Young claimed the two got into an argument on Oct. 4 and again on the morning of Oct. 5.

That night, about 9:30 p.m., Young called Pearson-Jenkins' family "and left a message that he left her out here' and was tired of her," the charges state.

Young had left Pearson-Jenkins without a cellphone, transportation or provisions, and she was not properly dressed for the weather, according to police.

On Oct. 13, Pearson-Jenkins' nude body was found with three articles of clothing on the ground near her.

After the discovery, Young and his van were spotted near Yuba Lake, about 45 miles from the campsite where he said he had left Pearson-Jenkins.

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Police also noted that on Oct. 6, Young returned to Silver City "and took pictures of his van and one camp chair in the same vicinity where (Pearson-Jenkins) would be found dead," according to charging documents. "At no time did Young alert police that she was out there."

When detectives searched Young's property after his arrest, they found Pearson-Jenkins' phone with the SIM card removed, the charges state.

After his initial arrest, Young was charged and later pleaded guilty to drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon.

Juab County sheriff's deputies arrested Young Monday afternoon. While searching him, deputies found drug paraphernalia and a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, a police affidavit states. He was then booked into jail for investigation of drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and "destructive or injurious littering."

"While looking for Cody I went to an uninhabited area east of Nephi City, where Cody was reported to have been camping in a tepee. I located the area and observed a large amount of trash in a wash near where it appeared someone had been camping. After contacting Cody, he admitted to leaving the trash in the area. Cody stated that the trash was there from him staying (in) the area all winter," the arresting deputy wrote.

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