2 found dead in Utah crash were missing Colorado couple


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities say the remains of two people found in a wrecked car in a ravine in eastern Utah are those of a Colorado couple missing since October.

The Deseret News reports a highway worker found 38-year-old Matthew Batterton, of Pueblo, and 51-year-old Risa Johnson, of Colorado Springs, dead off the side of Interstate 70 about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from the Colorado border Feb. 18. They were last seen Oct. 8 traveling on Interstate 80 in Richfield.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street says Batterton’s cousin called dispatchers in late October to report that Batterton was headed to Las Vegas to pick up drugs and had been missing for three weeks.

Street says that because of the victims’ criminal histories, including Batterton being a known drug trafficker, investigators will make sure that nothing criminal was involved in the crash.

Numerous driver’s licenses, bank cards and a Social Security card that did not belong to either Batterton or Johnson were found in the wrecked car, which was not visible from the interstate. No drugs were found at the scene.