Mystery Utah inmate identified as missing NM man
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A mystery man believed to be in his 70s who has been locked up in a Utah jail for more than three weeks, refusing to provide his name, was identified Tuesday as a missing New Mexico man, authorities said.
The graying, disheveled man with blue eyes and a scruffy face was booked into the Utah County Jail as “John Doe” on July 1 after being arrested for trespassing in the Provo Police Department parking garage, about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Since then, investigators have been publicizing his mug shot and reaching out to the media and public to figure out who he is. About 100 tips had led nowhere. Authorities even considered the man might have been a missing district attorney from Pennsylvania, but later ruled that out.
Another Pennsylvania prosecutor on Tuesday confirmed that authorities have determined the man is Phillip T. Beavers of New Mexico.
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said in an email to the Associated Press the man’s brother identified him. No other details were immediately available.
Miller’s office had been involved in looking into whether the mystery man was in fact former District Attorney Ray Gricar.
Gricar disappeared in 2005 about nine months before he planned to retire as the top prosecutor in the central Pennsylvania county that is home to Penn State University’s main campus in State College. He was declared legally dead Monday.
Utah County Sheriff’s Lt. Dennis Harris declined to immediately comment on the man’s identification.
“I think we know who this guy is now,” Harris said. “I’m feeling pretty comfortable.”
Beavers is being held on $1,200 cash bond for three misdemeanor charges of interfering with an investigation, failure to provide information to a police officer and criminal trespass.
He has been practically silent in jail, save for a few brief conversations with Harris and a deputy who have been trying to get him to talk. Authorities ran the man’s fingerprints through a state database but came up with nothing.
Harris said more details would be released later in the day.
Authorities initially said they didn’t believe the man was from Utah or had been homeless long, if he was homeless at all. The man has just about a week’s worth of facial hair but did appear disheveled and dirty when he was arrested.
“We’ve explored everything from A to Z,” Harris said earlier, adding they had not ruled out the possibility that the man might have been a registered sex offender somewhere or possibly wanted for a crime.