Utah investigators ask for help identifying victim in 20-year-old cold case

The Utah Department of Public Safety is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspected murder victim found 40 mile north of Lake Powell 20 years ago. Authorities believe she may have been a victim of serial murderer Scott Kimball. | Image courtesy of the Utah Department of Public Safety, St. George News

ST. GEORGE  State investigators are going to the public with a 20-year-old cold case in hopes of learning the identity of a woman they believe may have been a victim of serial killer Scott Kimball.

Photos of the area where the Maidenwater victim’s body was found, Garfield County, Utah, April 2001 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Public Safety, St. George News

In early October the Utah Department of Public Safety released a police sketch of a woman known only as the “Maidenwater victim,” along with old photographs related to a homicide case that was originally reported April 1998.

The woman was found covered with plastic bags, wrapped in duct tape, tied with rope and placed in a sleeping bag before being wrapped in carpet, according to DPS.

The body was found alongside state Route 276 near milepost 8, which is approximately 38 miles north of Lake Powell.

The woman is believed to have been between 37 and 45 years old at the time of her death, and is of either Hispanic or Native American descent based on DNA testing.

She was around 5 feet tall and weighing 112 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Pieces of evidence found with the unidentified woman have led investigators to believe she is one of Kimball’s victims.

Kimball is serving a 70-year prison sentence for the murder of four people who disappeared between 2003 and 2004. He is suspected to be tied to other murders.

According to a report from KSL.com, there are similarities between the Maidenwater victim and Kimball’s victims, including being tied with rope using a unique and complex knot system and being wrapped in a children’s play mat similar to one used by Kimball’s 5-year-old son in 1998.

A poster from 2001 asking for help identifying the suspected homicide victim who has become known as the “Maidenwater victim.” | Image courtesy of the Utah Department of Public Safety, St. George News

In addition, Kimball dumped two of his victims’ bodies in the Book Cliffs area, which is just north of where the Maidenwater victim was found.

A DPS agent traveled to Sterling, Colorado, where Kimball is serving his sentence in order to interview him about his possible involvement in the Maidenwater murder.

“Initially Scott was somewhat confrontational with us, but eventually became more cooperative. We interviewed him for 2 1/2 hours,” the agent wrote in a Utah State Bureau of Investigation report. “Ultimately, Scott denied any knowledge or involvement with this murder.”

DPS released multiple photos of the location where the Maidenwater victim was found, including close-ups of the knots used, as well as the play mat the victim was found in.

DPS also released a photo of the woman made during the time of her autopsy. While not featured in the gallery below, that photo can be accessed here. Viewer discretion is advised.

Anyone with information related to the case or the identity of the woman is asked to call the DPS dispatch line at 801-887-3800.

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

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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