Police in Washington state said Friday that a body found in a duffel bag near a Seattle apartment complex trash bin is that of a 23-year-old Utah woman.
The decomposed body of Jenna K. Ferguson was found Monday by a maintenance worker, according to King County sheriff’s authorities.
Sgt. Stan Seo said Ferguson had been in Seattle for a drug rehabilitation clinic with Gethsemane Ministries Church. She was last seen on July 7 or 8 after she walked away from the clinic.
The woman last lived in Payson, Utah, according to Seo.
Ferguson’s aunt, Cody Dame, said in a statement Friday that their family is “heartbroken” over the woman’s death.
“Jenna was a generous, tender, loving person who could make anyone laugh,” Dame said. “We are touched by the tremendous love and outpourings of kindness we are receiving. Please respect our sorrow and privacy as we struggle through this very difficult time.”
Ferguson’s family lives in Salem, Utah, according to Salem Police Chief Brad James, who said he understood that Ferguson had moved away some time ago.
James said no missing person report for Ferguson had been filed with his department, adding that he has not spoken with the King County Sheriff’s Office about the woman.
Utah court records show Ferguson has a criminal history that includes misdemeanor and felony convictions dating back to 2011, including convictions for burglary and theft. Most recently, she pleaded guilty to shoplifting in 2014, a class A misdemeanor, for which she was sentenced to jail.
Seo said detectives are still trying to piece together what happened to Ferguson, whose cause of death was still not determined as of Friday.
“We definitely don’t have anybody in custody,” he said Friday. “We’re still trying to determine if this is a homicide or not.”
Seo said if anyone has information about Ferguson’s death, they are urged to call the sheriff’s office at 206-296-3311.