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Missing man found above Orangeville

The UHP helicopter picks up the body from a remote area above Orangeville.

Shortly after 10 a.m. on May 4 searchers located a body in the foothills above Orangeville. A Utah Highway Patrol helicopter was dispatched to lift the body out of the remote and rugged area.

An Emery County man went missing in that area in December 2012. Emery County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team conducted searches at that time, both by air and land, but were hampered by winter snowfall. Other organized searches have been conducted recently with negative results.

The search on May 4 was organized by Lt. Gayle Jensen from the Emery County Sheriff's Office. The search group consisted of individuals from the missing man's church. During the search, the lieutenant located a body.

The body has been transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office for positive identification and to determine cause of death.

Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk said the medical examiners office contacted him on Monday and it is now official that the deceased man located is Matthew Alan Larsen.

The Emery County Sheriff's Office has been searching for the missing person since last December. Twenty-five year old Matthew Alan Larsen was last seen in the Castle Dale/Orangeville area of Emery County on Dec. 15, 2012.

Det. John Barnett said the man lived in Castle Dale and was last heard from by family and friends on Dec. 15. Cell phone records indicate his cell phone was in the vicinity west of Orangeville behind XTO Energy.

The missing man did not have his wallet with him. The Emery County Sheriff's Office, Search and rescue and the search dogs combed the area west of Orangeville at the time the man went missing but did not find anything.

Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk said a ground search was conducted on April 27 in the vicinity where the last cell phone signal was detected. The searchers went into the area by ATV and then hiked the cliff areas. The searchers fanned out from this area but did not locate the missing man.

"We are relieved here at the sheriff's office to have this case come to a close. It's very difficult for us and for the family involved, not knowing for sure what happened to their family member. I really want to thank Lt. Gayle Jensen for organizing this search. He had worked a grave yard shift and then went in and organized his church members who combed the area where the body was discovered," said Sheriff Funk.

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