WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (TCD) -- Police are asking the public for help in finding a missing 99-year-old woman they believe was killed and then left in the mountains.
In a statement, the West Valley City Police Department called on people to search the area for evidence relating to Maren Carlson’s disappearance, especially now that autumn and hunting season are around the corner, two popular times that "bring more Utahns to the mountains."
Police believe Carlson’s grandson, Garman Shaun Cunningham, killed her and "disposed" of her body in the mountainous area.
According to West Valley Police, on Nov. 12, 2021, a woman called 911 and said she had escaped after Cunningham, her husband, held her hostage in her home. The woman, who remained unnamed, allegedly said Cunningham told her he killed Carlson, who lived in their home.
He allegedly handcuffed her to a chair, threatened her with a gun, and strangled her "multiple times during her captivity."
When police went to arrest Cunningham, he allegedly shot his gun inside the home, then ran outside with a sword. A K-9 eventually chased him and caught him.
The court documents cited by KSL say Cunningham allegedly tried to smother Carlson and then beat her. He reportedly caused her head to "cave in" and threw her down the stairs several times. He also reportedly stabbed her with a part of her broken walker and a steak knife.
West Valley Police said during the investigation, detectives reportedly believe Cunningham got rid of Carlson’s body near the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest near SR 150 or SR 35. Several law enforcement agencies have conducted searches for Carlson’s body but have not been successful in finding her.
Cunningham was reportedly arrested in December 2021 for aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstructing justice, aggravated assault, and illegal discharge of a firearm. He reportedly died by suicide in March 2022 while in custody.