UT MILLARD COUNTY JANE DOE: WF, 18-40, found in shallow grave under juniper tree near Cove Fort, UT - 19 Aug 1979 *SANDRA MATOTT*

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The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

Female
White / Caucasian
Date Body Found: August 19, 1979
Location Found: Rural, Utah
Estimated Age Range: --

Case Numbers
NCMEC Number: --
ME/C Case Number: 197900752

Demographics
Sex: Female
Race / Ethnicity: White / Caucasian

Possible First Name: --
Possible Middle Name: --
Possible Last Name: --
Possible Nickname: --

Estimated Age Group: Adult - Pre 40
Estimated Age Range (Years): --
Estimated Year of Death: --
Estimated PMI: --

Height: 4' 8"-5' 3"(56-63 inches) , Estimated
Weight: Cannot Estimate

Circumstances
Type: Unidentified Deceased
Date Body Found: August 19, 1979
NamUs Case Created: January 2, 2020
ME/C QA Reviewed: --

Location Found Map
Location: Rural, Utah
County: Millard County
GPS Coordinates (Not Mapped): --

Circumstances of Recovery:
Skeletal remains were found in a shallow grave under a juniper tree 50 meters off a dirt road near the I-15 Cove Fort exit.

Details of Recovery
Inventory of Remains: --
Condition of Remains: Not recognizable - Near complete or complete skeleton

Physical Description
Hair Color: Brown
Head Hair Description: --
Body Hair Description: --
Facial Hair Description: --
Left Eye Color: Unknown
Right Eye Color: Unknown
Eye Description: --

Distinctive Physical Features
No Information Entered

Clothing and Accessories
Clothing: Short sleeve pullover shirt size medium. Brassiere size 32A. On the Body

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The Coffeenator

Well-known member
Millard County Jane Doe from 1979 has been identified as Sandra Louise Matott.

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"The Salt Lake City Police Department has announced the closure of a missing persons cold case after DNA testing confirmed human remains located in Millard County belonged to Sandra Matott, who disappeared in July of 1979.

To date, this is the oldest missing persons cold case closed by the Salt Lake City Police Department, said a news release."

SLCPD announces closure of 1979 missing persons cold case | Gephardt Daily

Sandra Matott's thread as a Jane Doe:
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
HOW in the world was she unidentified for so long? The dang jewelry was identified as hers (not sure when tho)! Sounds like her report got lost in the system between 1979 and 2012.

  • On July 18, 1979, the Salt Lake City Police Department opened a missing person’s investigation on Sandra Matott after her husband, Warren Matott, reported his wife missing. Warren Matott reported Sandra was last seen at a bar eight days earlier in Salt Lake City. At the time, an SLCPD follow-up detective attempted to contact Warren Matott but was unsuccessful.
  • On August 19, 1979, the Millard County Sheriff’s Office received information that a hunting party located skeletal human remains near the I-15 Cove Fort exit near a road called “Old 91.” There were no signs of homicidal violence to the skeletal remains. At the scene, investigators located two pieces of jewelry, a ring and a watch. Both were later determined to belong to Sandra Matott. [See photos below]. Due to the suspicious circumstances, the Millard County Sheriff’s Office opened a homicide investigation.
  • On December 17, 2012, the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification’s Missing Persons Clearinghouse contacted the SLCPD with information from the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office. Investigators sought to confirm whether the information was connected to the original missing person’s case from 1979.
  • Between January and April 2013, an SLCPD Homicide Detective was re-assigned to the case and determined Sandra Matott was still missing. The SLCPD detective entered Sandra’s information into two national databases for missing persons while conducting additional investigative follow-up.
  • The investigation continued through the summer of 2013. During the investigation, Sandra Matott’s family reported they believed Warren Matott, Sandra’s husband, was likely responsible for her disappearance and death. Warren Matott died on October 11, 1999 in California.
  • On February 1, 2019, Sandra Matott was entered as a “Cold Case Missing Person” into Utah’s “Cold Case Database.” Her case information was later entered into a federal database that assists law enforcement in identifying, locating, apprehending, and prosecuting people responsible for violent crimes.
  • On November 25, 2019, the Millard County Sheriff’s Office contacted the SLCPD after a case file was located describing skeletal human remains possibly connected to Sandra’s missing person’s case.
  • In December of 2019, Utah’s Forensic Anthropologist completed a report which allowed the Millard County Sheriff’s Office to submit the previously recovered bones to the University of North Texas for DNA testing in October of 2020.
  • On August 10, 2021, the Millard County Sheriff’s Office received confirmation the remains located in 1979 belonged to Sandra Matott.
  • On August 13, 2021, the Salt Lake City Police Department and the Millard County Sheriff’s Office met with the family of Sandra Matott and informed them of the case developments.
The Utah Medical Examiner’s Office never determined a cause of death for Sandra Matott.

Detectives from both SLCPD and the Millard County Sheriff’s Office believe Warren Matott likely had more information about the disappearance and death of Sandra Matott. However, there was never any probable cause to charge Warren Matott in connection to this case.

In 1984, serial killer Henry Lee Lucas confessed to killing Sandra Matott. His claims were vague, and detectives could not verify his confession. Media reports indicated that Lucas confessed, and later recanted, to hundreds of murders.

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SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
That is absolutely crazy. This is why they need to release information on these old cases to the public. You know that some online sleuth would have figured it out years ago!
And also why people who reported missing persons in the 70s-80s need to really make sure their case is still in the system. SO many cases were "inadvertently" deleted over the years.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

Missing in Utah: Sandra Matott’s case is officially closed Pt. 4​

The murder and disappearance of Sandra Matott has mystified authorities since 1979.

But now, the case is considered closed after she was identified as the Millard County Jane Doe who was found in 1979.

Salt Lake City police along with the Millard County Sheriff’s office both agreed there were two possible suspects and each is dead.

Henry Lee Lucas and her husband are the two possible suspects,” said Michael Ruff with Salt Lake police. “Both have long been deceased. At this point there’s nothing to follow up on.”
 

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