crimesider

Is body found in suitcase that of missing Utah woman?

Elizabeth "Elena" Laguna Salgado

Provo Police Department

MAGNA, Utah - Investigators are trying to determine whether human remains found in a suitcase along Interstate 80 in Utah could be those of missing Provo woman Elizabeth "Elena" Laguna Salgado.

KSL-TV reports that Utah Department of Transportation workers found the large suitcase in a ravine off the highway near Saltair resort, about 15 miles from Salt Lake City, on Thursday afternoon.

Provo police confirmed that they are working with investigators but aren't sure yet if the body could be the 26-year-old Salgado.

Salgado was last seen on April 16 leaving the Nomen Global Language Center in Provo. Salgado moved from Chiapas, Mexico, to Provo about a month ago to study English. The location where the remains were found is about 50 miles northwest of Provo.

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Jared Garcia says law enforcement doesn't yet know the age or gender of the body that was found or how long it was in the ravine.

A Utah Department of Transportation spokesman says a crew was putting in a cable barrier alongside the highway when they found the suitcase and remains.

Salgado's parents flew in from Mexico to attend a news conference Thursday and make a plea for their daughter's safe return. Provo Police Chief John King says he informed Salgado's parents of the discovery of the remains so that they could process the information, despite the identity still being unknown, reports CBS affiliate KUTV.

Last week, Elizabeth Smart, a woman who was 14 when she kidnapped from her Salt Lake City bedroom in 2002 and held captive for nine months, held a news conference in an effort to bring attention to Salgado's story.