Police Need Help Identifying Woman Found Dead Near Saltair

Aug 29, 2020, 3:31 PM | Updated: Aug 31, 2020, 4:04 pm

MAGNA, Utah — Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a deceased woman who was found outside Saltair, near the Great Salt Lake.

Sgt. Melody Gray with the Unified Police Department said a jogger first spotted the woman’s body a half-mile east of Saltair. The body was on the rocks, just over a jersey barrier, next to Frontage Road.

Gray said the body had likely been there for several days, and police said Monday the incident is under investigation as a homicide, as the victim was shot.

“Unfortunately, at this point, we don’t even know who she is,” Gray said.

Due to the elements, police said it was hard to make out describing factors like age and ethnicity.

“It’s a remote area out here. It’s off the Frontage Road, it’s not a highly travelled road,” Gray said. “Definitely the circumstances surrounding it are suspicious.”

Police said what’s more suspicious is no one has reported their loved one missing, and nearby missing person’s databases have turned up no matches so far.

“There’s nothing that we found that is obvious at this point,” Gray said. “Initially, we started with Tooele (and) Wendover — those places that are nearby — as well as the national database to see if there is something listed there.”

A drone search of the surrounding vegetation turned up no personal belongings, but police said that in itself is telling.

“Everything is very out of place,” Gray said.

Gray said the woman’s clothing and shoes were not exercise clothing and didn’t indicate she intended to visit the remote area.

“She was probably not (out here for a jog),” Gray said.

Police described the woman as 5-foot-5 tall with long black hair, and tattoos with the words “Joseff” and “J Grinn.”

Sgt. Melody Gray said they hoped to get more information like fingerprints from the medical examiner’s autopsy.

The UPD later confirmed the woman’s identity as 42-year-old Akosita Kaufusi of Salt Lake City around 3:15 p.m. Sunday. Anyone who may have information about the incident was asked to call UPD at 801-743-7000.

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Police Need Help Identifying Woman Found Dead Near Saltair