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The 26-year-old West Jordan man found dead and wrapped in a plastic tarp in Butterfield Canyon on Wednesday afternoon died from blunt force trauma, police said Friday.
Alejandro Reyes' body was discovered about 2 p.m. Wednesday by a hiker who stumbled upon a "suspicious package" while passing through the area, said Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder. The hiker noticed some "obvious blood" on the opaque plastic that was taped at the seams; he drove out of the canyon and called police.
"When we got up there, it alarmed our officers," Winder said at a news conference Friday, noting that the body looked "hastily dumped" and whoever placed it there did not attempt to hide it. Police do not know how long the body was in the canyon.
The tarp-wrapped body was sent to the medical examiner's office, which determined Reyes was killed by some kind of trauma, but it remains unclear what caused the trauma or if a weapon was involved.
Family members reported Reyes missing to West Jordan police on Wednesday, Winder said, three hours after his body was found; at that time the medical examiner had yet to determine that Reyes' body was inside the tarp. He was last seen Saturday at about 8 p.m.
Reyes' death is being investigated as a homicide.
"It's a very disturbing situation," Winder said. "It's a troubling death. I'm anxious for our detectives to understand how this occurred. I'd like to see these people apprehended."
Reyes' pickup truck a red 2002 Toyota Tacoma was reported missing Thursday, but officers located it at an apartment complex in Riverton late Thursday night. Police are unsure if Reyes has a "connection" to someone living at the apartments or whoever drove the vehicle there. Winder declined to comment on any evidence found in the truck.
Anyone with information is asked to call Unified Police at 801-743-7000.