Grand County investigators are hoping a GPS device belonging to a woman found dead in Arches National Park will help answer questions about when and how the woman died. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
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MOAB — Detectives investigating the body of a woman found dead in Arches National Park are hoping data from the woman’s Garmin GPS device will help them determine when and how she died.
The body of Ekaterina Yaroslavna Ksenjek, 33, of Arlington, Va., was discovered Oct. 1 in the Devils Garden area of Arches National Park. At the time of his discovery, the cause of death could not be determined.
Investigators say Ksenjek’s death was originally considered suspicious as she was found wearing only one shoe and sock and she was found under a large rock in a remote area.
Ksenjek’s body was “in an advanced state of decomposition” when it was found. Her backpack along with the rest of her clothes and other personal items were found a short distance away, according to a search warrant affidavit.
An autopsy performed by the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office revealed that Ksenjek suffered from multiple broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder. However, “no foreign objects were found in the body and there were no external injuries that could be said to have immediately caused Ekaterina’s death,” the warrant states.
Because of this, Grand County Sheriff’s investigators believe the woman may have been injured in a fall and then succumbed to the effects of hypothermia, which include the removal of clothing and “burrowing behavior”. , according to the affidavit.
Investigators are hoping that Ksenjek’s Garmin device that was recovered from the scene can help determine the time of his death.
“If the time can be determined via watch or account information, it may either confirm or refute the current idea of an accidental fall followed by hypothermia,” police wrote in the affidavit.