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.