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Mount Ogden body that of missing Weber student

Published January 26, 2013 10:03 am

Mystery • Police are unsure how Juan Pablo Brant, 27, ended up atop 8,400-foot peak.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An autopsy has identified the body found on Mount Ogden as that of a missing Weber State University student.

Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther said Friday that the dead man was Juan Pablo Brant, 27, who was reported missing on Jan. 4.

Lowther confirmed the identity was made by the state Medical Examiner's Office, but he referred further questions to Weber State University.

Campus police earlier had said that Brant was last seen by a dormitory roommate about 3 p.m. Jan. 4 at the Wells Fargo Bank at 4301 S. Harrison Blvd. in Ogden, near the WSU campus.

WSU police said friends told them it was not unusual for Brant to leave for several days at a time, but they became alarmed when his absence stretched beyond a week.

Often Brant would go for extended walks in the foothills east of campus, but just how he ended up atop 8,400-foot Mount Ogden was not immediately known.

WSU spokeswoman Allison Hess said Brant had been a student at the Ogden school since 2010 and was pursuing a bachelor's degree in integrated studies.

He was not known to have been depressed prior to his disappearance, said Hess, adding that police had not investigated the case as a suicide. "It looks like he succumbed to the elements," she said.

The Snowbasin Ski Patrol found Brant's body Tuesday, clad in just a sweater, jacket and loafers. There was no sign of skis or other recreational equipment nearby. Lowther said authorities don't know how the man ended up on the peak.

The specific cause of death is still undetermined. Lowther said earlier this week that the medical examiner had requested a toxicology report, which can take six to eight weeks.

But investigators said it did not appear foul play was involved. Exposure to the elements — including subfreezing temperatures and heavy snowfall — were considered likely factors.

remims@sltrib.com