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Mother: Drugs may have been factor in woman’s death

Posted: 5:47 PM, Aug 14, 2012
Updated: 2012-08-15 17:06:19-04
Mother: Drugs may have been factor in woman’s death

BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah - A body found at a Box Elder County campground last week has been identified as a missing Brigham City woman.

31-year-old Jenny Atkinson was last seen on July 17 when she dropped her 12-year-old son off at a friend's house. Friends and family had few answers until a group of kids on a nature hike spotted the remains of a woman's body in steep terrain in a Box Elder County campground.

Further investigation found Atkinson's Scion at the Dock Flat Campground near Mantua. Several hundred yards from that Scion, police found the remains of a woman.

Investigators were able to use a tattoo of Atkinson's son's name on the back of her right shoulder to positively identify those remains as Jenny Atkinson.

The death is being called suspicious. Police say the spot where Atkinson was found is certainly unusual for a woman who struggled to walk due to cerebral palsy, but they're still not sure a crime has been committed.

Jenny Atkinson's mother Penny Atkinson says she had recently relapsed and begun using methamphetamine, something Penny believes may have contributed to Jenny's death.

"There were two people who came from Texas. I don't want to name names but they were doing hard drugs," said Penny Atkinson.

Penny says those individuals were Atkinson's friends from high school and were in Utah when she went missing in July.

Police say they are talking with friends and family and anyone else who may have seen Atkinson last. They say there are no definite suspects so far.

Chief Kevin Potter, Box Elder County Sheriff's Office, says decomposition of the body means the autopsy provided less information than they'd hoped. That autopsy was unable to determine a cause or exact time of death, but Potter says Atkinson's death likely occurred close to the day she went missing.

Police say they're following several leads and waiting on toxicology results, which will take at least two months to come back from the state lab.

Related stories:
Body found during search for missing Brigham City woman
Woman’s remains found in Box Elder Co. campground