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Dead Body Found on I-70


On July 19 a truck driver from Georgia, whose semi was broken down along I-70 at the Ghost Rocks rest area, had noticed a car which was just outside of the rest area. It contained what looked like a dead body. The call came into the Emery County Sheriff's Office dispatch and investigators were sent to the scene. The dead man had $200 cash on his body, and a spare tire compartment filled with marijuana. The trunk also contained a suitcase. Det. Sgt. Robert Blackburn, Sgt. Tom Harrison, Det. Norm Vuksinick and Deputy John Barnett conducted the investigation.

The dead man was in the passenger seat in a reclined position. Investigators believe the man died of a drug overdose, possibly cocaine. Final determinations as to cause of death will be determined by the toxicology report from the medical examiners office. A strong odor of marijuana was present surrounding the rear panel of the vehicle and when investigators looked in the trunk they discovered 15 packages containing approximately a pound of marijuana in each package. A wrecker was called to remove the vehicle to the sheriff's office to hold for evidence retrieval. An ounce of cocaine was found in the pocket of the deceased man and also a bindle with unidentified drugs rolled in a $5 bill.

The man had identification on him which looked to be fake naming him as Jesus Jose Rodriguez Ortega. The vehicle was a rented car out of Delta, Colo. which had been rented by a woman. The next day investigators traveled to Delta, Colo. for further investigation. They located the woman who had rented the car. She identified the man as Noe' Ruiz and she said she had rented the car for him to go see her sister in Colorado Springs, because her sister was Ruiz's girl friend.

The sister/girl friend said Ruiz had left on Sun., July 17, to head for either Delta, Colo. or Denver and she had not heard from him since.

When the vehicle was found on July 19, it was out of gas and headed west on I-70. It is not clear where he got the drugs and where he was going or where he had been.

Ruiz had a brother and sister in Delta who traveled to Salt Lake to make a positive identification on the deceased body. Investigators speculate the man was a possible illegal and a drug dealer in the area.

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