Family of Joseph Salas whose body was found in Jordan River wants answers

Nov 8, 2021, 5:00 AM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:00 pm
The family of Joseph Salas would love justice for their loved one after his body was found in the Jordan River in June, 2021. Photo courtesy of Jason Jensen.

SALT LAKE CITY — There is a reward offered for information that leads police to the identity of the person or persons responsible for the death of a man, Joseph Salas, whose body was found in the Jordan River near North Temple on June 9, 2021.

Private Investigator Jason Jensen, who works for Salas’ family pro bono, tells KSL Newsradio Salas, 49, who was employed and well liked, was last known to be on his way to his sister’s house on 400 North. Jensen says he and his wife had just been to the liquor store when they parted ways, his wife headed toward Trax, Joseph headed down toward the Jordan River.

Joseph Salas was last seen wearing a red backpack

“The last thing his wife saw was him walking away with a large red backpack on. When they found his body floating in the river, it was literally just a third of a mile north of North Temple, so he hadn’t been in the water very long,” said Jensen.

Jensen says the place he likely was assaulted was under the overpass of North Temple. What was missing, says Jensen, was his large red backpack.

“We believe a homeless person is responsible for his death, and they stole his red backpack. We are looking for anybody in the homeless community that has maybe a tendency to act out in violence, carries a large knife and might be in possession of a red backpack,” said Jensen.

Jensen says many in the homeless community might be reluctant to come forward because they are afraid to contact the police, so he’s asking anyone who might know something to call his personal cell number anonymously, 801-759-2248. He tells us a reward is being offered for information that leads authorities to the identity of a suspect.

Well known, well liked in the community

Jensen says Joseph Salas was well known and well liked by homeless and others in the neighborhood. Jensen says Salas would sometimes fish in the river near North Temple. He would also take frequent walks along the stretch between North Temple and 400 North.

Family members, including his wife Heather, are distraught and are desperate for justice. Jensen says Heather has been posting fliers with his picture in hopes they might get some leads. In addition to his wife Heather, Joseph leaves behind a sister, daughter and grandchildren.

Salt Lake City Police are investigating this case as a homicide. Anyone with information can also call 801-799-3000.


Read more:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Lindsay Aerts

Will lawmakers fund free UTA fare beyond one week?

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Transit Authority has approved free fares on all public transit for one week starting Feb. 12 during the time the NBA all-star game is in town. But will lawmakers fund it further? Gov. Spencer Cox has asked for a year of free transit in his budget. But the chair of […]
14 hours ago
FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2020, file photo, Groundhog Club co-handler Al Dereume holds Punxsutawney Ph...
CNN Meteorologist Monica Garrett

Punxsutawney Phil left his burrow for his annual prediction. Here’s how much longer winter will last according to the legend

Punxsutawney Phil -- the legendary groundhog weather watcher -- woke up and saw his shadow Thursday morning, calling for six more weeks of winter.
14 hours ago
Thousands of fraudulent nursing diplomas  were dispersed in Florida. (Canva)...
Associated Press via Miami Herald

Fake nursing diploma scheme in Florida; 25 arrested

The defendants each face up to 20 years in prison.
14 hours ago
A bill making its way through the Utah legislative session this year wants to promote Utah's extrem...
Allessandra Harris

SB 151 would exempt certain businesses from farmer’s market regulations

Under S.B.151, minor producers would not be required to tell consumers their food is not officially licensed by the state.
14 hours ago
Sen. Nate Blouin, D-Salt Lake, left, and Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake, speak at a press conferenc...
Lindsay Aerts

Bill to set target water level for the Great Salt Lake dries up

The bill proposed by Sen. Nate Blouin, would set a target elevation goal at 4.198 feet. However, the bill died in committee.
14 hours ago
Police are looking for a shooting suspect, after a man was found with a critical gunshot wound in S...
Kate Davis and Simone Seikaly

One man dead, suspect on the run after Glendale shooting

Glendale police said the shooting happened Wednesday night near 1665 South Riverside Drive, not far from the Jordan River.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Family of Joseph Salas whose body was found in Jordan River wants answers