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.


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