Sunday, June 22, 2008

Missing Utah Mom Michelle Erickson Found Dead Near Her Car In Walker Creek Canyon In Idaho; Suicide Note Found Nearby

Update: Doubts about "suicide" escalating. See updated post HERE.

The cops sure blew this one, didn't they? All along, they were downplaying the idea of foul play in the disappearance of Michelle Erickson.

Well, guess what? KUTV Channel 2 is reporting that Michelle Erickson, a single mother of two from Cottonwood Heights in the Salt Lake Valley who has been missing since June 9th, has been found dead in Idaho. She was found lying 15-20 feet away from her car, and a suicide note was found near the scene. Reports closer to the scene has been filed by KPVI Channel 6 in Pocatello and KIFI Channel 8 in Idaho Falls. Local stories now popping up in the Deseret News.

KPVI video embedded below:

A group of campers were hiking up Walker Creek Canyon, approximately 25 miles south of Pocatello, when they say the spotted the vehicle and smelled what they believed to be a dead body. The campers called the Bannock County Sheriff’s Department, who confirmed Erickson’s death.

Officers say they will wait for results from a coroner to confirm the cause of death, but they suspect suicide. So far the coroner has determined the body had been in the canyon for more than ten days.

The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office has issued a statement, posted on the KPVI website, in which they state they have notified the family, and that the family wants privacy now and no media to disturb them.

Erickson suddenly disappeared on June 9th. Her last known activity was when she allegedly used a credit card to gas up her car and buy charcoal in Downey, Idaho at around 5:00 A.M. on June 10th. A full-scale search was initiated on June 12th, after family members verified that she hadn't made an unexpected trip to see her parents.

My previous post contains more background. Erickson has a past history of depression, but was not known to have suffered any recent recurrences. There was concern about the possibility that she might have been carjacked and kidnapped, because just 48 hours prior to June 9th, a strange man lurking near the Erickson's apartment building attempted unsuccessfully to carjack another female resident. A number of individuals, including this blogger, believe the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office consistently downplayed the possibility of foul play. It's one thing to try to reassure the family by keeping their spirits up, but it's another thing to ignore a completely real possibility, a possibility that unfortunately became a reality. Suicide is definitely foul play in my opinion.

Interesting discussion on the Websleuths Forum. Some are suggesting a kidnapper may have set it up to look like a suicide.

Voice Of Deseret extends its condolences to the family.


Setira said...

I knew this girl in school we spent a lot of time together in junior high school and later in High school.. My friends and I hung out at here house all of the time.. It was the place to be...

I would like to think it was homicide.. I would like to think that she loved her children so much that she could not or would not take her own life...

There is one peace that I would like to add to this story... It was about this time (first 2 weeks or so in June) 19 or 20 years ago her boyfriend in High school shot himself while talking to her on the phone.. I do not think she every quite got over it.. I know that she loved Brad with all of her heart and she did all that she could to help him, he was in counsuling... I am not sure what was said on the phone but it did not end well..

I want to think that it was murder but the timing of her death and his is to close to rule out..

Either way I continue to pray for her, her mother and her kids...


knowlj said...

Did she go to Milcreek Junior High? I think I knew her in Grade school.

Anonymous said...

yes she did...