Body of missing Utah woman Jane Ashby likely found

Boy Scouts find her car near Bingham Mine, with a body and her ID inside.
This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Police believe a body found with a sports-utility vehicle that rolled 1,000 feet down an embankment is that of a Tooele woman missing for months.

Jane Ashby, 62, disappeared July 31 after telling her family that she was going to a meeting for work. In reality, there was no such meeting, and her family feared she was suicidal.

After police and family members combed canyons and campgrounds in Salt Lake and Utah counties that she was known to frequent, an extensive search came up empty.

But just before 1 p.m. Saturday, a Boy Scout troop was hiking near the Bingham Copper Mine lookout when they found Ashby's vehicle. Police found a body and Ashby's personal identification as well.

"We have every reason to believe that it is her," said Tooele police Sgt. Lonnie Collings.

However, police are waiting to close the case until a medical examiner can confirm the body is Ashby's. Collings was unsure of when that would happen.

It appears the woman's red Ford Escape had gone off a road about 1,000 feet above where the Boy Scouts found it, Lonnings said. It rolled several times on its way down before crashing into dense brush and aspen trees.

Searchers had traveled the same road multiple times, but the crash site is invisible from that road, Collings said. The brush is so dense, even the Boy Scouts did not see the Ford Escape until they were about 15 to 20 feet away from it, the sergeant added.

Ashby's family feared that she was trying to kill herself when she disappeared. Police said that the purchasing history on Ashby's credit card showed that she bought some household cleaning chemicals that can give off deadly fumes. Michelle Gray, Ashby's daughter, said in a previous interview that her mother was depressed after the passing of her husband in December.

Graves described her mother a "pillar of the community" who was generous and considerate of others.

Twitter: @mikeypanda