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A former Emery County sheriff's captain recently charged with sexually abusing a child is believed to have committed suicide, authorities say.

In a one-paragraph statement, Emery County Attorney's Office spokeswoman Nancy Orgill confirmed Friday that David F. Owens, 74, was found dead Wednesday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Owens, who had served as an officer with the sheriff's office until he retired in 2000, was charged last month with four counts of child sex abuse for incidents allegedly occurring between 1997 and 2007.

"David Owens died [Wednesday afternoon] from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," Orgill's statement read. "His body is currently at the Utah Medical Examiner's Office for determination of the official cause of death."

The statement also noted that on Thursday, after learning of his death, prosecutors formally filed a motion to dismiss all charges against Owens. Owens had been scheduled to appear in 7th District Court on Tuesday on the charges.

Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk declined to discuss the matter.

Funeral arrangements for Owens were pending.