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Body recovered Saturday identified as Emery man missing since December

A Utah Highway Patrol helicopter was called in to recover Matthew Larsen's body from the remote area where it was discovered.

Emery County Progress editor

A man's body recovered from a rugged area near Orangeville Saturday has been positively identified as 25-year-old Matthew Alan Larsen of Castle Dale, who had been missing since Dec. 15.

Shortly after 10 a.m., searchers located a body in the foothills above Orangeville. A Utah Highway Patrol helicopter was dispatched to lift the body out of the remote area.

Emery County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team conducted searches by air and land when Larsen disappeared, but were hampered by winter snowfall. Other organized searches have been conducted recently with negative results.

The search on May 4 was organized by Lt. Gayle Jensen from the Emery County Sheriff's Office. The search group consisted of individuals from the missing man's church. During the search, the lieutenant located a body.

The body was transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office for positive identification and to determine cause of death.

Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk said the Medical Examiner's office contacted him and it is now official that the deceased man located is Matthew Alan Larsen.

Larsen was last seen in the Castle Dale/Orangeville area of Emery County on Dec. 15, 2012.

Det. John Barnett said cell phone records indicate his cell phone was in the vicinity west of Orangeville behind XTO Energy.

The missing man did not have his wallet with him. The Emery County Sheriff's Office, Search and rescue and the search dogs combed the area west of Orangeville at the time the man went missing but did not find anything.

Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk said a ground search was conducted on April 27 in the vicinity where the last cell phone signal was detected. The searchers went into the area by ATV and then hiked the cliff areas. The searchers fanned out from this area but did not locate the missing man.

"We are relieved here at the sheriff's office to have this case come to a close. It's very difficult for us and for the family involved, not knowing for sure what happened to their family member. I really want to thank Lt. Gayle Jensen for organizing this search. He had worked a grave yard shift and then went in and organized his church members who combed the area where the body was discovered," said Sheriff Funk.

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