Police confirm bodies found in the mine were lost teenagers

SALT LAKE CITY – Two bodies found in an abandoned Utah mine, which a few teenagers who disappeared almost three months ago, authorities confirmed Friday.

Riley Powell, 18, and Brelynne “Airy” Otteson, 17, were stabbed to death and dumped in the mine at the end of December after a visit to a woman whose boyfriend had warned her not to have male visitors, Utah County sheriff’s officials said.

The bodies found Wednesday were believed to be the missing couple, but the provision of the state medical examiners made the identification of the official.

Arrested on suspicion of aggravated murder and other charges is Jerrod W. Baum, 41. The police says he grabbed the two teens, she stabbed to death and dumped their bodies in the abandoned mine shaft after they visited his girlfriend in late December. His lawyer has not returned calls seeking comment.

His girlfriend told the police that Baum told her that he had made Powell’s suffering after the few teenagers visited their shared house to smoke marijuana with her, but loved Otteson death quick and painless, because he felt bad, according to the police documents.

He said that he had already warned his girlfriend about having male friends at the house and “it was too bad because he has never killed an innocent before,” she said to the authorities, according to police documents.

The break in the case came Sunday, when police say the girlfriend had weapons in her car after an unrelated traffic stop. She led them to the mine where the police eventually recovered the bodies in near Eureka, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.

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