Utah closes off 56 abandoned mines near Eureka, including where 2 bodies were found
Jul 12, 2023, 11:30 AM
(Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining)
EUREKA, Utah — Utah mining crews recently completed a project that closed off dozens of abandoned mines across southwestern Utah County, including a mine shaft where the bodies of a Utah couple were recovered five years ago.
The project focused on closing off abandoned mines on private land near Eureka, located just outside of Utah County. In all, crews capped 56 abandoned mine openings within the once-bustling Tintic Mining District, according to the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.
All of the mines were “easily accessible” and close enough to popular off-highway vehicle trails, which caused possible safety concerns, said Steve Fluke, manager of the division’s Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program.
“Safeguarding these mines ensures that future risks are minimized or eliminated, improving public safety,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
The most notable of the newly closed mines is Tintic Standard Mine No. 2, where the bodies of Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson and Riley Powell were recovered in 2018 after they had gone missing months prior. Jerrod Baum was convicted of murder in the case last year and sentenced to four consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A permanent memorial was erected to honor Otteson and Powell just outside of the mine, where people have left photos, stuffed animals, flowers and other objects over the years.