UPDATE: New information has shed more light on why Myers's death was deemed suspicious. According to new reporting by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Salt Lake City's Deseret News, Myers's body was found stuffed in a suitcase. Police have now named two people of interest in her death.
Kelly Mae Myers, a student at Central High School, was reported missing in the Grand Junction area in late December.
At first, law enforcers didn't classify her case as a crime because anecdotal evidence suggested she may have left of her own free will — and since she was eighteen, such a choice was perfectly within her rights.
As time passed, however, concerns rose. And now, her remains have been found in a what's described as a remote area of Cactus Park
The death is now considered suspicious.
The last activity on Myers's Facebook page involved posting the following photo as a profile pic:
The last profile photo of Kelly Mae Myers.
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office notes that Myers's family last heard from her the next day, December 18. However, the first alert from the Mesa County Sheriff's Office wasn't released until January 19.
Why the delay? Here's an excerpt from the sheriff's office release:
A few reports to investigators have indicated Kelly might have hitch hiked to Utah. Investigators believe she has friends or known associates in the Salt Lake City area, and may have been trying to get there. Currently, investigators do not have any information she in endangered, however, her family insists this is very unusual behavior for Kelly and a great cause for concern.
"It is not against the law to walk away from your 'life' as an adult," the MCSO item added. "If Kelly is okay and simply wants to be left alone, we would encourage her to contact Investigator Henderson, at (970) 244-3264, so we can share that information with her family."
No such message was received, and over time, worries mounted, with those who loved her sharing posts like this one on social media:
A collage of Kelly Mae Myers images.
Then, yesterday, came the news that everyone had been hoping against hope would never come.
Here's the sheriff's office Facebook post:
Kelly Mae Myers...it is with deep sympathy we notify our community that her remains were recovered in a remote Mesa County area, yesterday. This death investigation is active and on-going, so please be patient as many details are not yet available for release. We hope the community will surround her family and friends, and support them in their time of grief.
A separate MCSO news item specifies the location of Myers's remains as Cactus Park. The area is beloved by four-wheelers, as indicated by the following video:
More details are offered by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.
The paper reveals that Myers's body was actually found on Saturday in a spot "located south of the Gunnison River and southeast of Colorado Highway 141."
A subsequent autopsy was conducted by the Mesa County coroner's office, which has deemed the death suspicious.
Since the news broke, Myers's family members have been expressing their grief on Facebook. Posts by her brother are particularly heart-wrenching
Another photo of Kelly Mae Myers shared by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
If you have any information about this case, you can contact the sheriff's office via the local dispatch center, accessible at 970-242-6707.
In the meantime, our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Kelly Mae Myers.