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Vernal educator accused of sex abuse found dead

Published January 18, 2013 7:47 am

Police • Cause of death not released, but former vice principal was reported as suicidal.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

A former Vernal Middle School vice principal who was charged with several counts related to sexually abusing a child has been found dead, according to the Vernal Police Department.

David Alan Papadakos, 43, was reported as missing and suicidal on Sunday. Papadakos' family and friends along with Vernal police, the Uintah County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Forest Service searched for him throughout the week. On Thursday, two people found Papadakos' vehicle about 2 miles north of State Road 121 between Vernal and Lapoint.

A statement from Vernal police says that "it was quickly determined that Papadakos was deceased." However, police did not elaborate early Friday on the cause or manner of death. Papadakos' body was taken to the Medical Examiner's office for autopsy.

Police said that Papadakos' family expressed thanks to those who helped in the search.

In October, Papadakos was charged in 8th District Court with two counts of first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child and 10 second-degree felony counts of forcible sexual abuse.

Prosecutors alleged that Papadakos repeatedly molested a male relative. Authorities became aware of the alleged abuse when the relative told a friend about the molestation, according to court documents. Papadakos allegedly told investigators prior to his arrest that the relative was the aggressor in the relationship and that the alleged victim had been sexually abused by someone else before moving to Utah.

Prosecutors said at the time that Papadakos was not accused of abusing any students while working at the middle school. Uintah School District Superintendent Mark Dockins said Friday that Papadakos resigned from his job at Vernal Middle School after the charges were brought against him.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion