Family of Elizabeth Salgado visits site where body was found, discovers more remains
SPRINGVILLE, Utah – The family of Elizabeth Salgado continued their visit from Mexico on Friday by visiting the remote Utah canyon where her body was discovered and making a makeshift memorial.
“She was like an angel in my life,” Elizabeth’s mother, Libertad Salgado said through a translator. “God let me borrow her for that time that she was alive.”
The Salgado family traveled from Chiapas, Mexico, to meet with investigators about the death of the 26-year-old returned LDS missionary, who disappeared in 2015, after living in Provo for just three weeks to study English.
“We believe that she was killed,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re treating this as a homicide.”
Cannon escorted the family about 30 minutes up Hobble Creek Canyon to a spot off the side of the road where a motorist discovered Elizabeth’s remains last month after stopping to use the bathroom.
“It was a miracle that Elizabeth was found here,” said Rosemberg Salgado, Elizabeth’s uncle. “It’s sad just knowing that my niece is gone.”
Elizabeth’s mother, father, four siblings and two uncles hiked up the side of the hillside to a wooded area where, according to Cannon, her body likely stayed hidden for much of the last three years.
“I feel terribly desperate with this situation to have found that my daughter’s body was brought here so far away,” Libertad said. “Someone did this to her, and we need to find the person that did this. We need earthly justice for someone who took the life of an angel, of a princess, of a warrior.”
Libertad described her daughter as a protector who looked after and set an example for her younger siblings.
The family created a makeshift memorial with flowers, pictures and a cross. They then joined together and offered prays on behalf of their daughter, sister and niece.
While kneeling on the ground, the family members discovered additional remains that are believed to belong to Elizabeth. About 10 pieces of skeletal remains were collected and placed into an evidence bag, according to Cannon.
“I don’t know if anything that they found today is going to change anything that we know,” Cannon said. “It’s always possible that it will.”
With so many unanswered questions, it was difficult for the family to walk away from the mountain location as they realized that once they return to Mexico it may not be possible to return.
“It is a very real likelihood that this may be their last visit here to this site,” Cannon said.
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