Remains identified, returned to family in 46-year-old murder

Timothy Morgan, who went missing in 1974 near Lyman is pictured at 13 years old (left), with his mother. He was 18 years old when he went missing, and investigators found his body in 1979. Local officials were able to identify the remains recently and returned the remains to Morgan’s family on Thursday morning. (COURTESY PHOTO/Uinta County Sheriff’s Office)

EVANSTON — Investigators with the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office have announced a partial resolution to a cold case homicide dating back to the early 1970s. Although the victim’s remains were finally able to be positively identified and released to family members, the murder itself remains unsolved.

According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, 18-year-old Timothy Eddy Morgan disappeared on or about Nov. 29, 1974. Morgan failed to return to his uncle’s residence in Lyman and was reported as a missing person. His car was located abandoned a few days later in the area of Ekin Station, on County Rd. 233 outside of Lyman, but a search revealed no sign of Morgan himself.

Nearly five years later, in April 1979, human remains were discovered about 1-1/2 miles from where the vehicle had been found, located just outside the initial foot search area. With the assistance of the Wyoming State Crime Laboratory, the remains were transported to Cheyenne, where an autopsy was conducted.

The remains were found to be that of a young adult male, with build and clothing all consistent with Morgan; however, it wasn’t possible at that time to make a confirmed positive identification or release the remains to family. The cause of death was ruled to be a gunshot wound and the death was ruled a homicide.

On Jan. 31, 2017, investigators with the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Wyoming State Crime Lab regarding the cold case and were referred to the University of North Texas, who assisted with securing a DNA sample from the skeletal remains for comparison to any possible family members to aid in positive identification.

The work of several sheriff’s office employees led to the location of Morgan’s full biological brother, who resided in Utah, and a half-sister who resided in California. The two siblings provided DNA samples for comparison to that from the skeletal remains, resulting in a match to the biological brother.

On Thursday, Nov. 5, Uinta County Coroner Greg Crandall, Sheriff Doug Matthews, Sgt. Brooke Hale and Victim’s Advocate Leisa Reiter met with Timothy Morgan’s brother and assisted with the transfer of the young man’s body to his final resting place.

Although the identification of the remains brings some closure, the case remains active and unsolved. The Uinta County Sheriff’s Office requests that anyone with any information regarding Morgan, his disappearance and/or death to please call the office at 307-783-1000.

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