2 suspects allegedly involved in death of St. George woman in custody in Southern California

Composite image. Background photo by Barbol88/iStock/Getty Images Plus. Inset image of Stevie Wilkerson courtesy of St. George Police Department, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Authorities have arrested two suspects allegedly involved in the death of Stevie Shay Wilkerson.

Wilkerson, a 26-year-old St. George woman, was last seen Aug. 9 near the Claridge Inn on Bluff Street, and her body was later found Aug. 23 in a remote area of Iron County.

Joseph Edward “Joey” Fought, 30, and Brittany Elizabeth “Josie” Phillips, 27, are currently in custody at a San Bernardino County detention facility in California, where they’ve been held without bail since Aug. 31.

Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser said in a news release Tuesday the pair were apprehended by Barstow Police officers at a motel on Aug. 31. They were interviewed by Iron County Sheriff’s deputies in California the following day, and as of Tuesday, they are still in jail and awaiting extradition to Utah.

Although the charges the pair face in Iron County are currently limited to felony possession of a stolen vehicle, additional charges are pending, the Sheriff’s Office said, noting that the case is being treated an active homicide investigation.

According to a probable cause statement filed in Utah’s Fifth District Court on Aug. 31 in support of their arrest, Phillips and Fought were seen in the St. George area in early August driving a white Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck that had been reported stolen from a rental company in Arkansas.

Surveillance video reportedly showed the vehicle being parked at hotels, restaurants and pawn shops in the area in the days leading up to Aug. 9. At that point, the statement says, Fought and Phillips transported Wilkerson and another female in the truck to Cedar City, where the other woman said Wilkerson was “removed from the truck and left near the city of Enterprise.”

“The deceased body of Stevie Wilkerson was later found on August 23rd in Iron County” near the location described by the other woman in the truck, the statement says; however, it doesn’t indicate whether Wilkerson was alive at the point she was left near Enterprise.

Both Fought and Phillips have extensive criminal histories that span multiple states.

The Iron County Sheriff’s Office statement thanked the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Statewide Information and Analysis Center, along with the other law enforcement agencies involved, for their assistance.

“Our gratitude goes out to all agencies which have been working tirelessly to apprehend these two dangerous subjects,” the statement said. “Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Stevie Wilkerson.”

This is a developing story.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, 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!