Deceased UTA worker’s truck found in Wyoming

Posted at 12:22 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 23:29:37-04

SUBLETTE COUNTY, Wyo. — Officials in Sublette County, Wyoming have located the Utah Transit Authority work truck used by Kay Ricks, a UTA employee whose body was found Tuesday night in the neighboring county of Lincoln.

Kay Ricks, 62, disappeared May 12 and he was reported missing that night. Police are investigating his death as a homicide and are looking into possible connections between his death and a kidnapping incident in Centerville, Utah.

Dereck James Harrison, 22, and his father, Flint Wayne Harrison, 51, are accused of tying up and beating a mother and her four daughters in a Centerville basement and then fleeing to Wyoming, where they were both captured.

Centerville police said Ricks’ truck was last seen about a mile away from a home where the Harrisons had fled to after the alleged attack in Centerville. They say Ricks’ body was found in an area on the way to Half Moon Lake, where the Harrisons ultimately surrendered to police.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that both Harrisons are now considered persons of interest in Ricks death.

The father and son were extradited to Utah on Thursday.

An FBI agent spotted the work truck during an aerial search of the Half Moon Lake area. The truck was found in a wooded area off the main road, in the same general area where Flint Harrison told sheriff's deputies he and DJ had been camping out. DJ surrendered to authorities on the same road the truck was driven on before it was ditched.

"It was very well hid. So it's in a very rocky area. So we're going to have to put it on a wrecker to get it out of that area where it's at, in rough terrain, and then we'll get it on a flatbed and get it where it's supposed to be," said Sublette County Sheriff Stephen Haskell.

Kay Ricks and the UTA truck he used.

Kay Ricks and the UTA truck he used.

It was quite the operation to get the vehicle down the mountain, Haskell said. Crews had to use chainsaws to cut through fallen trees to reach the wooded area, plus they had to navigate around huge boulders.

After it made its way back into town, a flatbed tow truck hauled it out of Pinedale, to head toward processing.

Haskell could not say whether or not there was any evidence found with the truck that could immediately link Ricks' death to the Harrisons, but he did indicate the truck was found nearly empty.

He said they truck will be tested for DNA samples, blood and fingerprints.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office has now taken over, as they investigate Ricks' death. Sheriff Shane Johnson told Fox 13 his department's already talked with the county attorney about possible charges in the murder.