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Front Page » June 10, 2008 » News » Ryan Thayn found in desert after 10 years
Published 3,183 days ago

Ryan Thayn found in desert after 10 years

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The remains of Ryan Thayn were found in this remote section of Mounds in Emery County.

A story that began 10 years ago on Nov. 4, 1998 came to a conclusion over the weekend as the remains of a missing Wellington man, Ryan Thayn were discovered.

Emery County Sheriff LaMar Guymon said at the time of the disappearance of Thayn a nationwide search was conducted that continued to this day. Sheriff Guymon said, "There isn't a month that goes by that Ryan's family or our sheriff's office hasn't been contacted about Ryan Thayn and his possible whereabouts. At the time of the disappearance, Det. Bill Downard was placed in charge of the investigation, he and several other members of the Emery County Sheriff's Office have followed up on every lead, suspected sightings, foul play and claims of where Ryan might be from all over the country. Ryan went missing from his work at the oil field in the Mounds area of Emery County. The original missing person call went into the Carbon County dispatch and we weren't notified right away. They searched the area. When we were called it was a couple of days into the investigation. We searched the area for several weeks, but any initial clues were disturbed.

"On Friday, June 6, 2008 we received a call from the Price dispatch that people conducting a cactus survey for a gas company had found some human remains in a rocky crevice. I was in Price at the time and arrived at the scene at approximately 1:30 p.m. Capt. Kyle Ekker, Lt. Bill Downard, Det. Norm Vuksinick, Det. Sgt. Robert Blackburn and Deputy Jerod Curtis arrived at the scene and conducted an extensive search of the surrounding area.

"We located the remains and recovered the body. The body was taken to Salt Lake City to the medical examiners office for autopsy and to attempt to make an identification.

"On Sunday morning, June 8, it was confirmed by the State Medical Examiner, Dr. Todd Gray that the remains were in fact those of Ryan Thayn. Dr. Gray stated the cause of death being a gun shot wound.

"We believe the gun shot wound was accidentally self inflicted. From the evidence at the scene it leads us to believe it was an accidental discharge. Where Ryan was located, you had to walk out to the ledge and look down into the crevice. All that was left were bones and his clothing. Ryan was down in the crevice with his feet back and the gun was underneath him. He was wedged in the rocks. The crevice was approximately 3 feet across and at the bottom it was approximately 16 inches wide; it was 6 feet deep. It is our guess he accidentally tripped and fell into the crevice causing an accidental discharge.

"Ryan was an active hunter and hiker, it was not unusual for him to go on long hikes. He was also a taxidermist. His job made it possible for him to go on walks. He would start the wells pumping and then would explore and then come back later to shut them off.

"The initial search was more by the road, Ryan was located in an area you couldn't reach on horseback.

"This has been ongoing for 10 years, I do feel relieved, but sad we didn't find him alive. This will bring closure to the family which is the most important thing. We learned things in this investigation that we can use in the future. There were a lot of false accusations made throughout this investigation and people's reputations have been damaged by other people. We hope all of that will end now. The investigation at the scene will continue, but this will bring to an end the search for Ryan Thayn," said Sheriff Guymon.

In a telephone interview with Randy Thayn, Ryan's father he said, "We would like to thank all the state and local officials and the volunteer effort. They put in thousands of hours searching for our son. When we first heard a body had been found, we thought it might be Ryan because we didn't know of any other missing people in that area, especially so close to where Ryan's truck was left. The officials contacted me on Saturday and then at noon on Sunday they visited with a positive identification. We now know where our son is and it does give us some closure. At the same time it also closes out any hope of finding him alive. It's a bittersweet situation."

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June 10, 2008
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