Some two decades ago, a passing motorist found the remains of a woman near Lake Powell in southeastern Utah. She had been killed with a gunshot to the head, and her body was wrapped in duct tape, tied with rope, and put inside of a sleeping bag that was wrapped in a carpet. Unable to identify the woman, authorities called her the “Maidenwater victim.” On Wednesday, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office announced that it had identified the woman as Lena Reyes-Geddes of Youngstown, Ohio, FOX reports. Reyes-Geddes was originally from Mexico and authorities were able to identify her body using DNA samples from relatives in that country, per KSTU. Authorities renewed their investigation into the case in October.
Reyes-Geddes, 37, had been driving from Ohio to Texas in April of 1998 to visit family, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Twelve days after she started her drive, her body was discovered near Maidenwater Spring. Her fingers and thumbs had been cut off at right angles, according to police documents obtained by the Tribune. Police have not disclosed how they made the connection between the Maidenwater victim and Reyes-Geddes. For a time, they reportedly thought that serial killer Scott Kimball, currently serving 70 years in a Colorado prison, was tied to Reyes-Geddes’ death. However, they no longer believe that to be the case and say that they have identified a suspect, who they say died by suicide in Nevada in the early 2000s. They have not named that person. (Read more cold cases stories.)