The two bodies recovered from a mine shaft in Utah County have been positively identified as the bodies of two teens missing from Juab County.
***PRESS RELEASE*** March 30, 2018: The two bodies recovered from the Tintic Standard #2 mine on March 28 have been identified by the Medical Examiner as Brelynne "Breezy" Marie Ottesen, age 17, and Riley Lee Powel, age 18.
On January 2, 2018, Breezy and Riley were reported missing from Eureka, Utah. The Juab County Sheriff's Office and the Sanpete/Juab Major Crimes Taskforce (MCTF) conducted an extensive investigation into their disappearance. They obtained and executed search warrants and collected evidence, including the Jeep that belonged to Riley and personal items believed to belong to both Breezy and Riley. On Sunday, March 25, a woman named Morgan Henderson was arrested in Sanpete County on charges unrelated to the missing person case in Juab County. Investigators had previously spoken to Henderson about the missing person case. While in custody, she began to disclose information to Detectives that led them to the evidence described above. It also led Juab and Sanpete/Juab MCTF to a mine shaft in the Dividend area in the southwest part of Utah County. Realizing that this area was in Utah County they contacted Detectives with the Utah County Sheriff's Office. Working together Detectives discovered two bodies in the Tintic Standard #2 Mine, a mine in the Tintic Mining District that has been out of service for decades.
On the morning of Wednesday, March 28 Detectives with the Utah County and Juab County Sheriff's Offices, Sanpete/Juab MCTF, and the Heavy Rescue Team with Unified Fire Authority (UFA) responded back to the Tintic Standard #2 Mine. After a lengthy effort UFA's Heavy Rescue Team was able to recover both bodies. The bodies were transported to the Medical Examiner's office in Taylorsville. Initial indications were that they were the bodies of Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell. The condition of their bodies strongly suggested that their deaths were not accidental. Following autopsies the Medical Examiner was able to positively identify the bodies as being Breezy and Riley.
During the course of the investigation Jerrod William Baum, age 41, of Eureka, was identified as a suspect in the disappearance of Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell. He was already in the custody of the Juab County Sheriff's Office on a Federal hold with the US Marshall's Office. Baum was transferred to the Utah County Jail, being held on the US Marshall's hold. A short time later Detectives added the following charges: 2 counts Aggravated Murder, 1st degree felony; 2 counts Aggravated Kidnapping, 1st degree felony; 2 counts Desecration of a Dead Human Body, 3rd degree felony; 1 count Possession of a Dangerous Weapon by a Restricted Person, 3rd degree felony; 1 count Witness Tampering, 3rd degree felony; and 1 count Obstructing Justice, class A misdemeanor. Baum is currently being held without bail on these new charges.
For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office. (801)404-1912. Twitter: SGTCannonPIO Baum's booking photo may be used for media/public information purposes.