ST. GEORGE — The remains of a man reported missing Friday after failing to return from a fishing expedition were located near the Utah-Arizona border Sunday, one day after his vehicle was located by campers in the area.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the remains found by Search and Rescue members in an area near the Beaver Dam Wash were those of 59-year-old John Brent Hunt, according to a statement released by Lt. Dave Crouse Monday morning.
Hunt was reported missing by his wife Friday after being overdue from a fishing excursion in the Washington County area. Hunt’s wife told police that her husband left his home May 4 at 3 p.m. driving a 2017 Silver Toyota Tacoma, and he had not been in contact with his family since that time.
On Saturday evening, individuals camping in the area off the Lytle Ranch Road in southwest Washington County reported a vehicle near the Beaver Dam Wash matching the description of the one reportedly being driven by Hunt.
Deputies responded to the area and confirmed the vehicle belonged to Hunt; however, after a search of the immediate area, they were unable to locate him due to darkness and other conditions.
The following morning, detectives responded back to the scene and were soon joined by Washington County Search and Rescue teams.
Approximately two hours later, Hunt’s remains were found by search teams a little more than a mile from where his vehicle was initially located.
Investigators have reason to believe that Hunt had been deceased for several days when the remains were located, Crouse said in Monday’s release; however, the cause of death was “not immediately apparent and is still under investigation.”
At this point, there is no evidence to suggest that foul play was involved in the incident, he said in the statement.
Washington County Search and Rescue liaison Sgt. Darrell Cashin told St. George News that volunteers assisted in the recovery process due to the vast expanse of remote land where the body was located and that multiple resources were called in to assist Sunday.
More than 30 rescuers, four K-9 search dogs, sheriff’s deputies, one BLM ranger, two drones and a helicopter donated by a private individual were used during the search and recovery process, Cashin said.
Crouse said Hunt’s remains were transported to the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner for identification and autopsy to determine the cause of death, which is standard protocol in these types of incidents.
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