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Student's Winter Break Plan: Find This Man's Bones. He Did

Caleb Shumway went on the hunt for Lance Leeroy Arellano
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2015 1:48 PM CST
Student's Winter Break Plan: Find This Man's Bones. He Did
This undated photo provided by the Grand County Sheriffs Department shows Lance Leeroy Arellano.   (Grand County Sheriffs Department/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

As far as winter breaks go, Caleb Shumway has had an unusual and potentially lucrative one: The Utah Valley University student likely found the human remains he was looking for. The 23-year-old Moab native is the son of an officer, one of the 150-plus law enforcement members who in 2010 spent days hunting for Lance Leeroy Arellano, who allegedly shot Utah State Parks ranger Brody Young nine times on Nov 19 of that year near the Poison Spider Mesa Trailhead. Arellano was believed to have himself been shot and was thought to not have made it out of the desert; officers combed a 15-square-mile area without luck, and a $30,000 reward has remained on the table since. "For a poor college student, that's pretty appealing," Shumway tells the Salt Lake Tribune. Two days into his search, he found something.

Shumway and his 15-year-old brother decided to zero in on a two-mile area that contained a number of caves, and on Wednesday at the mouth of a "cave-like area" near Tangri-La Ranch found a bone and bag. They returned the next day with police, who were unable to fit inside what the Grand County Sheriff's Office describes in a press release as a "narrow entrance way to a void in the rocks that was approximately 6 feet long and 3 feet high and approximately 3 feet wide." Shumway went in and found more bones, clothing, and a bag with a gun in it; he believes an animal dragged the initial items he found from the cave. The release states that "evidence ... located with the remains" points to them belonging to Arellano, but the state medical examiner will make the final determination. The AP reports that Young survived, with his Kevlar vest and a credit card in his pocket blocking three bullets. (More Utah stories.)

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