Boy Scouts discover human remains on Arizona Strip

A group of hikers stumbled upon human remains on the Arizona Strip just southeast of St. George, Arizona Strip, Arizona, Nov. 16, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Ruben Togisala, St. George News

ARIZONA STRIP – A group of Boy Scouts from Cedar City made an eerie discovery Saturday when they stumbled upon human remains while on a 20-mile hike on the Arizona Strip, just southeast of St. George.

“We weren’t even supposed to be there,” Ruben Togisala, a father who volunteered to go along on the hike, said. “Our hike was slated for Duck Creek on Cedar Mountain, but got changed for the Arizona Strip due to weather.”

About 5 miles into the hike, while taking a shortcut to get where they were supposed to be, Togisala said, one of the Boy Scout leaders and some of the boys discovered the remains.

The group found several bones, including a skull, ribs, vertebrae, femur, an arm bone and tailbone, spread out within a 10-yard radius, along with pants, a shirt and a blanket, Togisala said.

Though Togisala said he is not a human remains expert, he said his best estimate of how long the remains had been there is around five-six months and he said they could still smell the stench of the body.

“There was a putrid smell near the remains,” he said.

The group contacted the authorities and Togisala said a Mohave County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Bureau of Land Management Ranger met them out there.

Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Patricia Carter said their office received the report of the human remains found south of the Arizona Strip, approximately 17 miles south of Hurricane, at 11:35 a.m. Saturday.

Investigators confirmed the discovery in the area of Temple Trail Road and collected several pieces of evidence from the scene. The Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office recovered the human remains.

Identification and autopsy results are pending, Carter said. This is an ongoing investigation.

The Scouts were able to finish their 20-mile hike, which won’t easily be forgotten.

“We hope that this discovery brings closure to the family of the individual,” Togisala said.

This is a developing story.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

Related posts

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • PROTECT THE SHEEP November 17, 2014 at 11:05 am

    look like he’s missing a tooth or two

    • KOOLAID November 17, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      That’s probably twice as many as you have.

      • Koolaid November 17, 2014 at 8:08 pm

        That’s a good comeback, but not mine… signed, the real Koolaid

      • tight magic undies November 17, 2014 at 10:04 pm

        You know how you can tell the tooth brush was invented in Southern Utah? If it was invented anywhere else, it would be called a teeth brush.

  • Hunter November 17, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Seems odd you chose to post the pictures. A little graphic considering these aren’t ancient, historical remains, rather someone who died only a short time ago and may be missing in the eyes of family and friends who might see this.

    • Peppers November 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      I agree. These photos don’t add to the story, but they will likely add to the family’s pain. This is death porn. This is abhorrent and unnecessary. This publication seems unlikely to post something as scandalous as cleavage or a midriff, but they’re happy to include human remains? Set your standard higher, STG News.

    • Koolaid November 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Let’s hope the scoutmasters weren’t as disrespectful as those who toppled the rock in Goblin Park nor as careless as those who let the scouts topple trees onto a road and kill someone.

    • Matthew Sevald November 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Nothing odd about it. Death is part of life and our culture is so sterilized when it comes to death. These are nothing but bones, the person is long gone.
      Rather than cower at a “scary” thought or seek to preserve the false Mormon bubble, take this as a very real lesson of what happens if you’re unprepared in the wilderness. No idea if that’s what happened to this particular individual, mind you, but the result is the same. This is an excellent educational opportunity with a dose of realism to drive the point home.

    • Realistic November 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      A little bit morbid, yes, but a part of the story. It is not as if the pictures show an identifiable corpse. They only show bones and some clothes. Sad for the person and their family, but not overly graphic or inappropriate.

    • time traveling ben November 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Pictures were my favorite part.

    • Give me a break November 18, 2014 at 9:46 am

      I just love reading a great story only to fall upon the comment section to see trivial remarks. This is reality. It is news. As with any story, these photos are important. If the body were not completely decomposed, I’m certain they would have left off the pics, so honestly, grow up and quit searching for things to be petty about.

  • Rena November 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

    You need Bones from the TV show…

  • Horatio November 17, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well.”

  • Steve November 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Yes, that is the reason it is very inappropriate and possibly illegal to post these photos… If this were the remains of your son’s body, would you want the general public to ogle his body parts and make snide comments??? If your son were missing, I’m sure you would not have posted these photos. Why do this to another family???

    Take them down immediately.

    • Winterhawk November 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      I could not agree more take them down. How disrespectful and hurtful for this poor souls family.

      • Herd November 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm

        Look at the disrespect and lies told surrounding the victims of the Meadow Mountain Massacre. Murdered victims were left out for animals to pick apart, false blame was placed on the Indians, their personal possessions were distributed between the killers.

        • PHJ November 18, 2014 at 8:38 am

          Mountain Meadow? Where did that come from? Mountain Meadow has nothing to do with this story. SMH and moving on.

    • Give me a break November 18, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Grow up! These same pictures are posted all over Fox and every other news outlet. You see them in National Geographic and any other source for news. These are skeletal remains, not an actual body. If something like this offends you, you have no business reading the news.

  • Steve November 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Do you think it is newsworthy to post the photos of the body parts of the volunteers who have recently been murdered by ISIS? Think about it…why don’t you post those photos? At least those people are not related to local readers here in Utah’s Dixie.

    I also actually believe you should stop putting misleading images in your articles that are not from the scene of the incident.

    • here come the whiners November 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      Because they dont post photos of those horrible murders, we sheepishly sit back and let our constitution be crossed off and destroyed, our rights and guns removed.. but I bet if everyone was forced to watch those beheadings of innocent ppl caught without a gun… we would all change our minds about all our lost freedoms and gun rights… but we just sit in our glass houses…

    • Koolaid November 18, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      Remember how Bush would not allow news agencies to broadcast pictures of the coffins of soldiers killed in his Iraqi war?

  • Missy November 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I’m surprised, also. Very morbid. I hope this person is identified and the family is in my thoughts.

  • frank November 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Looks like he stood on his head for too long. That’s just not healthy.

  • Zonkerb November 17, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    All right a new candidate for city council

  • Moriah Dutton November 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    I personaly see nothing wrong with showing these pictures. They are very educational. All they are is bones. The spirit is long gone on to the other side. My sister was murdered and I never once thought the pictures of her or the crime seen where harassing I found them way more educational. We all act as if death is so horrible. But we are all going to die sometime its Gods plan.

  • ladybugavenger November 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Maybe someone will recognize the shoe, pants, or belt and identify this person. Looks like foul play to me

    • Betty November 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      I believe the shoe belongs to the person snapping the photo and not the deceased.

  • Doug Bringhurst November 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Cliven Bundy????

  • H. Wang November 17, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    I think it was poor judgement to post these pictures. The family will certainly sue.

  • Mark Vinclio November 17, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    anything the media does will intrude into people’s privacy the new way of the world people want to know everybody else’s business and forget about their own problems and pathetic lives

  • ??? November 17, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Why is it people keep on looking at the darker side of things? So they found a dead body. They can learn from this. Now we can find out who it was, notify the family, and mormons maybe add them to the temple work. Why get in a big huff over it. Kids are bring knifes to school. TV shows are getting more violent and so are movies. A dead body would more then likely be nothing new to those kids. I can only hope that poor dead soul they found did not suffer to greatly before they passed.

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP November 17, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    This story would have been useless w/o the pics… Y’all afraid of bones?

  • here come the whiners November 17, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Ok conscience patrolers, there there now… didnt mean to drag u out of your glass houses.. if I had a missing family member id want to see whatever they got right away, instead of the long wait, waiting for someone to even decide if I should get a chance for identification. Quit looking all the time for reasons to complain, its like a contest with u all.

  • Steve November 17, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    St. George News, you at least owe us an explanation for why you are refusing to remove these awful photos that will undoubtedly cause terrible pain to the family. Don’t just ignore these comments.

    KSL handled this story in a much more respectful fashion, including reporting on the respectful tone of the Scouts who made this sad discovery.

  • Red Rocker November 18, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Poor work for the perp. I saw the movie “Casino”… You should always dig a hole first, when you aren’t pressed for time. It is hard to dig in the desert.

  • vaughn hawks November 18, 2014 at 9:03 am

    You shouldnt be talking about something of this nature in a way it might affect others in the loss of a family member anything could’ve happened people grow up dont talk bad about things like this its not a joking matter

  • Notagain November 18, 2014 at 9:23 am

    With nothing else to do, while waiting for the postman to deliver our welfare checks,
    lets all put in our educated viewpoints on how terrible this reporter is for not showing the corpse’s wallet and identification.
    ‘ Uncle Louie, is that you?’ Did the drug cartel catch you in their pot farm helping yourselves?

  • Gym November 18, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Those bones kinda remind me of chicks who starve themselves thin

  • dancing infidel November 18, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I think it is so funny of all the comments made about seeing the bones of a deceased person. There really is nothing to be afraid of or even think it is disrespectful to put in the report. As a combat veteran during the Vietnam conflict, let me reassure you that what you are seeing in this report is nothing to what I and many more others saw during combat. Then I had a career in law enforcement, and also witnessed some pretty gruesome dead bodies, and nothing I have seen in my many years does not compare to these photos. Get a grip people.

  • Slender bender November 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Why did they show a pic of koolaid

    • Notagain November 18, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      That wasn’t KOOLAID #1. It was #4. Multiple personalities sometime can be a pain. Some say Koolaid#1 is Mormon in drag, # 2 likes to kiss Obama’s … butt, #3 sneaks out of the closet occasionally to root for the LGBT community and #4 is the smiling columnist, Ed K. (St. George News pays each one minimum wage).
      Ed. ellipsis.

  • Kat November 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Someone maybe able to identify by the amount of teeth missing and the type of pants with belt.

  • MissHill November 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    One would think if you encountered a dead body, meaning a possible crime scene, you wouldn’t walk around taking photos and trying to do an amateur investigation. You never know what a group of people (the scouts in this case) are going to do to the scene by walking around, what evidence they might be disturbing. Choosing to post the photos is a bit odd too, now all those missing a loved one don’t have to use their imaginations envisioning what the missing might look like. It might be real life, but to use it to sell ad space is gross.

    • Koolaid November 18, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      Who said Utah scoutmasters were the brightest beings on the planet?

  • Large Moon November 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Did the scouts have to cut down a tree to get this body ? I read a report about a missing man that was listed as 6 ft. This one here looks a little shorter. Plus you can tell its a nascar fan by how many teeth are missing.

  • Kingofpain November 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    WEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeird !! Y’all know this dead person was eaten by a multitude of animals and insects, right ?? If it turns out authorities find no next of kin, they can donate the skeletal remains to me.. I’m just crazy about that kinda stuff.. WEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeirder !! I know…

  • debbie January 15, 2016 at 1:47 am

    yall ever find out who this was?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic January 15, 2016 at 4:23 am

      We have not, debbie – but I’m making inquiries.
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

    • Joyce Kuzmanic January 17, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Mohave County Sheriff’s Office replied to me Friday, Debbie. The investigation is still outstanding with the Medical Examiner’s Office. Again, thank you for your interest – always!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.