UPDATED: Search and rescue volunteers locate body of woman who didn’t return to campsite

Washington County Sheriff's Office vehicle, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a woman who walked away from her campsite and didn’t return.

A map of the location of the campsite Sarah Frances Cox went missing from near Little Creek Mountain, Utah, April 29, 2019 | Image courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Update April 30,  8:45 p.m. – Search and rescue volunteers located the body of missing woman Sarah Frances Cox (Yasuda) at approximately 3:30 p.m.

According to an update provided on the Washington County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page, the investigation indicated it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Her official cause of death still needs to be determined by medical examiners.

“Detectives are still looking into the circumstances leading up to her death, but do not suspect foul play at this time,” the post states.

Sarah Frances Cox, who also went by the last name Yasuda, was camping with her husband and son near the Little Creek Mountain area, which is southwest of Apple Valley, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The 33-year-old was reported to have left the campsite Sunday night and was reported missing the following day when she didn’t return.

Sheriff’s Lt. David Crouse told St. George News that the woman’s husband didn’t report her missing until the following day because they’re avid campers, and Cox is well-versed with the area. She did not have a cell phone with her.

“He didn’t think it was suspicious,” Crouse said.

She was possibly headed toward Hurricane. Deputies and volunteers from Washington County Search and Rescue responded to the area to help look for Cox. However, they were required to terminate their search due to a powerful storm that hit the area Monday night.

A helicopter from the Utah Highway Patrol Aero Bureau was dispatched to assist search and rescue efforts as they resumed Tuesday afternoon.

Cox is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 190 pounds with red hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, a white T-Shirt, a black hoodie sweatshirt and hiking boots.

“At this time the Sheriff’s Office is only seeking information from the public on her possible whereabouts,” according to a WCSO Facebook post. “We ask that people not attempt to search the area for her at this time, in an effort to preserve any possible tracks or evidence.”

Anyone who has seen Cox or knows of her whereabouts is asked to call Washington County Sheriff’s dispatch line at 435-634-5730.

Email: mheckenliable@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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