Discovered body identified as missing Utah father

Jun 1, 2023, 1:07 PM | Updated: 1:26 pm

Austin Madsen in a cold-weather hat...

Austin Madsen, 32, of Mapleton, Utah. (Mapleton Police Department)

(Mapleton Police Department)

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah — Human remains found Monday have been positively identified as a Mapleton father who was last seen in January.

The body was confirmed to be Austin Madsen, 32, with the use of dental records according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. He was married and the father of two boys. He was last known to be alive when he sent a video to a friend from a snow-covered mountain in southern Utah on Jan. 27.

Wednesday Madsen’s family was notified that the discovered remains were his after shed hunters came across the body on Memorial Day. He was said to be found in a hallow.

The original search for Austin Madsen

An extensive winter search for Madsen was based from the Dry Hallow area of Mount Dutton, where law enforcement officials were able to ping his phone. His remains were discovered approximately five miles northwest of that area, approximately 20 miles east of Bryce Canyon.

At the time he disappeared his father told KSL TV he was leaving Mapleton to head to Arizona, south of Kanab, to clear his head.

“Something distracted him and took him to Mount Dutton, until he got his truck stuck in the snow,” his father Aron Madsen said. He also said his family loves him and that he was a lovable and enjoyable person to be around.

Law enforcement said a medical examiner was one of the first people on the scene of the discovered body and determined the death was likely by natural causes. The body was sent to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s office. In a statement, the sheriff’s office said it appeared the death was caused by exposure to the elements.

Searchers from at least three counties aided in the search, that most recently included rescue dogs on the weekend of May 20.

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Discovered body identified as missing Utah father