Dental records identify body found in American Fork Canyon as that of missing runner

(Photo courtesy Utah County Sheriff's Office) Jerika Binks, who disappeared in February 2018.

Police have identified human remains found early this week in American Fork Canyon as a 24-year-old runner who’d been missing for more than a year.

A climber found the remains and some belongings April 14 in a ravine west of the Swinging Bridge picnic site. Police thought it could have been Jerika Binks, who disappeared in February 2018, but weren’t sure it was her.

The state medical examiner used dental records to determine it was Binks, Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith announced during a Wednesday news conference.

Investigators said after finding the body that they don’t think she died under suspicious circumstances. On Wednesday, Smith said Binks’ cause of death still hadn’t been determined, but that she had broken her leg and that might have played a role in her death.

Jed Alvey, her brother, said Binks will be remembered as spontaneous, outgoing and a fun person to be around.

“Some people may think we kind of had a year to grieve a little bit about it, but that’s not the case. It hit my family like it just happened yesterday," he said. "It was relieving, too, at the same time to know that we at least get to bring her home.”

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