Elizabeth Salgado Murder Case: Who Killed Her and Why?

Elizabeth Salgado Murder
The remains of Elizabeth Salgado, 26 when she vanished, were identified Thursday after being found last week in Hobble Creek Canyon, Utah.

When Elizabeth Salgado went missing in broad daylight in April 2015, her vacation in the United States was cruelly cut short. When her bones were discovered three years later, the frantic hunt for the young woman came to an end.

Disappeared: On a Mission
Season 8 Episode 4
Investigation Discovery: 18-Apr-2017

Disappeared: On a Mission,’ a documentary on Investigation Discovery, chronicles the events leading up to Elizabeth’s disappearance and how the police handled the investigation afterward. So if you’re interested in learning more, we’ve got you covered.

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Elizabeth Salgado, credit: Provo Police Department

What Caused Elizabeth Salgado’s Death?

Elizabeth Elena Laguna-Salgado was born in Mexico and raised in the United States. She intended to learn English and travel to the United States after serving a Mormon mission there. The 26-year-old grew up in Provo, Utah, and studied English at Nomen Global Language School.

Elizabeth shared a room with housemates nearby and was regarded as a positive woman seeking better prospects in the United States. Elizabeth was last seen on the afternoon of April 16, 2015, according to her classmates.

She was on her way back to her residence, which was around 18 streets away, at the time. Elizabeth, on the other hand, never made it home and, as a result, did not show up for work or contact her family. A man discovered a skull and some clothing in a shallow burial in Hobble Creek Canyon, Utah, three years later, in May 2018.

Elizabeth’s remains were later identified, and the death was deemed suspicious. While there was no evidence of blunt force trauma, the specific cause of death remains unknown.

Elizabeth Salgado
Elizabeth Salgado with her family.

Who Killed Elizabeth Salgado and Why?

Elizabeth had relocated from Mexico three weeks prior to her abduction, according to officials. They tried to put a timeline together for those days by interviewing her classmates and those who lived near the route she regularly went home. Investigators also discovered that her phone and bank records showed no activity in the days after her disappearance. Initially, the family mentioned Elizabeth’s obsessive Mexican lover who didn’t want her to come to the United States.

Her two uncles were also accused, but the family was later cleared of any wrongdoing. An unidentified individual called the family in June 2015, claiming to be the 26-year-abductor old’s and demanding a ransom. The authorities had little else to go on after that, and the case came to a halt. In 2018, Elizabeth’s body was discovered in the canyon, bringing the case back into the spotlight.

Jason Jensen, the family’s private investigator, provided a statement from the family for the person responsible in February 2020. “If you have any guilt for Elizabeth’s death, come forward now,” the note stated. “Report to the authorities.” Because no one in the area reported hearing screams or anything unusual around the time Elizabeth was last seen, Jason assumed she was abducted by someone she knew.

Many men were interested in her at the time. However, Elizabeth’s mother claims that the 26-year-old was focused on her studies and work. Jason also stated that Elizabeth’s religious friends should be questioned. He also said that, according to a source, there was some church-related activity at the creek’s mouth the weekend before Elizabeth vanished. She had actually been there at the time.

A forensic investigation of the evidence discovered at the burial site was inconclusive. In March 2021, however, the authorities were given another break. Jason’s penny was sent for DNA testing at the crime scene.

A DNA test revealed that a penny discovered near Elizabeth Salgado’s body belonged to a man. A member of the Utah Cold Case Coalition spotted the penny a year after her bones were located. Her family feels that this latest development may eventually lead to the discovery of her assailant.

Investigators and family members have since expressed optimism that additional evidence may lead to more answers, although Elizabeth’s case remains unresolved for the time being.

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