Since Kiplyn Davis disappeared, her parents have kept the porch light on at their Spanish Fork house, a practice they plan to continue until they can bring their daughter home for a proper burial.
Richard and Tamara Davis have not given up hope of getting closure, and the people of Spanish Fork have not forgotten Kiplyn.
Wednesday, which marks 23 years since anyone is known to have seen the girl, has been declared by Spanish Fork Mayor Steve Leifson as Kiplyn’s Day. A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. at the city cemetery, 420 S. 400 East, to bring awareness to missing and exploited persons.
Kiplyn, a 15-year-old sophomore at Spanish Fork High School, disappeared on May 2, 1995. She has never been located and is presumed dead.
After an initial investigation into what happened to Kiplyn, the case stalled but was revived by the U.S. attorney’s office in the spring 2003.
Five men, most of them former classmates of Kiplyn, were indicted in 2005 on federal charges of liying to police or a grand jury during an investigation of the disappearance. Two of them, Timmy Brent Olsen and Christopher Lee Jeppson, were also charged in Utah’s 4th District Court with murder.
In fall 2006, Olsen claimed he could lead investigators to the girl’s body, and a federal judge allowed U.S. marshals to take him up Spanish Fork Canyon to search. The body was not found, and the judge later called the trip a “charade.”
Olsen and Jeppson were convicted in separate trials in U.S. District Court of perjury, and the other three men pleaded guilty to the charges against them.
Jeppson, who was sentenced to five years in federal prison, resolved the state murder case with a no-contest plea to the significantly reduced charge of obstructing justice. He was sentenced to a five-year prison term that ran consecutively to his federal punishment.
Olsen had been found guilty of 15 counts of perjury and was sentenced to 12½ years in prison. Under a deal with Utah state prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to to second-degree-felony manslaughter. He admitted that he saw someone strike Kiplyn in the head with a rock and that he helped that person bury her body. He was ordered to spend up to 15 years behind bars for that crime, with the term running consecutively with his federal sentence.
Despite the progress in criminal justice system, the search for Kiplyn’s remains has been unsuccessful. Her parents, though, are still hopeful that they will be able to lay their daughter to rest one day.
“There’s always miracles,” Richard Davis said Tuesday.
He pointed out that the body of Peggy Sue Case, a woman who had been missing for 29 years, was found in May 2017, buried below a shed at a Spanish Fork home near Davis’ house.
Anyone who has any information that could lead to locating Kiplyn’s body is asked to contact the Spanish Fork Police Department 801-804-4700.