Family speaks after remains of woman missing since 1983 found in Davis County

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-06 00:25:40-04

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah -- Weeks after police confirmed that human remains found in Davis County belonged to a woman who went missing in 1983, the family of Theresa Rose Greaves spoke with FOX 13 News about the case.

Cathy Greaves Spurgeon, Theresa’s cousin, spoke to FOX 13 News remotely and said after 32 years it’s good to be getting some answers.

It’s been nearly four decades since she last saw her cousin Theresa, and she said the two grew up in New Jersey together.

“Her grandmother is the one who raised her, and we hung out all of the time, we were little--we’d trade the posters from our Tiger Beat magazines, we’d listen to music, we used to have so much fun together," she said.

Cathy now lives in Florida. She said her cousin graduated from high school, packed up her things and headed west for Utah.

“Donny Osmond! Seriously, that’s why she went out there,” Greaves Spurgeon said. “She was really infatuated with Donny Osmond and she wanted to go out there, and I’m not sure if she ever did but she wanted to be a Mormon.”

Five years passed, and Theresa, now 23, was living in Woods Cross.

“She used to correspond a lot with my grandmother, used to write letters…until that day when she went on her interview and no one ever heard from her and that’s when my grandmother panicked and knew something was wrong," Greaves Spurgeon said.

Theresa’s family, thousands of miles away, hired a private investigator to look deeper into her disappearance. Cathy’s father, Theresa’s uncle, even flew out to Utah to search himself.

“We had no answers, we didn’t know,” Greaves Spurgeon said. “Everything was a dead-end, and they presumed her dead.”

Back in February, a man walking along a path near the Highway 89 frontage road in Fruit Heights found what appeared to be a human skull and reported it to authorities. The Davis County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference weeks later, stating the remains belonged to Greaves. Initially, investigators reported that there had been no next of kin still living to notify of the discovery.

A local genealogist would prove otherwise, and Cathy and her father were notified by police three weeks later.

“At first we thought it was a scam going on so we ignored it,” Greaves Spurgeon said. “When I got the second message the next day and when he mentioned Theresa’s name--now my heart dropped.”

Davis County Sheriff’s Office has reopened the case, and they’re working to get the Greaves family more answers, and hopefully some justice for Theresa. Eventually Theresa’s remains will be brought back to the East Coast, where she’ll be laid to rest with her grandmother--the woman who raised her and who died in 1993 after Theresa had been missing for 10 years.

“It’s a horrible thing knowing she was up there all of these years and nobody knew anything, at least we know that when we pass away she’s with us,” Greaves Spurgeon said.