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A search warrant made public on Wednesday reveals new details about the death of a Sanpete County man whose body was discovered last month in a shallow grave in a remote area of southern Utah County, including that the body was burned.
Police have identified the body as that of 22-year-old Wesley Dee Nay, who was reported missing on Sept. 18 by family and friends to the Mt. Pleasant Police Department.
The grave located several miles east of the Indianola LDS Stake Center and about 2,000 feet inside Utah County was discovered on Oct. 19 by a man and his son, who were hunting coyotes, according to the search warrant affidavit.
When a Sanpete County sheriff's deputy approached the grave, he could see charred debris around the edges of the hole, and that the side of the hole itself was charred, according to the affidavit. The officer also could see two piles of limbs and wood that had been cut with a chainsaw.
The officer wrote in the affidavit that the scene reminded him that weeks earlier he had assisted a Mount Pleasant police officer with the case of Nay, who had gone missing under suspicious circumstances.
During that investigation, they had conducted several interviews, and taken several reports from concerned citizens, the officer wrote.
"More than one of these people reported hearing, [that Nay had been] set on fire and buried in a hole," according to the affidavit. "One of the witnesses made a statement about borrowing a chainsaw to cut some wood to burn evidence east of the church in Indianola."
While excavating the grave, the affidavit says, officers uncovered charred bones, including a human skull and remains of foot and hand.
There have been no arrests in the case, and police have not named any suspects, said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon on Wednesday. Officers are following up on initial leads, he said, and the medical examiner is attempting to determine a cause of death.
"We're hoping that they're even able to do that," Cannon said.
Police are investigating Nay's death as a homicide. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Utah County Sheriff's Office Investigations Division at 801-851-4010 or email Lt. Erik Knutzen at firstname.lastname@example.org.