Utah genealogist helps cops find family of woman missing for 32 years

A well-known Utah radio personality and genealogist used his sleuthing skills to help local cops track down the family of a woman whose remains were found in February, nearly 32 years after she vanished.

Scott Fisher’s exhaustive search to find relatives of Theresa Rose Greaves provided closure to a family left heart-broken when the young woman disappeared in 1983 on her way to a job interview in Salt Lake City.

“I’m an absolute nerd, there’s no question about it. It’s very tedious. To me, it’s trying to complete the puzzle. But when you do it, it’s enormously satisfying,” Fisher, host of a nationally syndicated radio show, "Extreme Genes," told the Deseret News Sunday.

A hiker found bones on a hillside off a Utah highway in February. A month later authorities identified them as belonging to Greaves.

Cops say Greaves disappeared Aug. 5, 1983, after taking a bus to Salt Lake City. She lived in Woods Cross and never returned.

Fox13 in Salt Lake City reported in March that in 1993 authorities questioned Douglas Lovell about Greaves and another Utah woman who disappeared in 1985. Lovell told cops he didn’t know what happened to the missing women.

However, he pleaded guilty to killing Joyce Yost in 1985 to keep her from testifying against her in a rape case. Her body was never found. He is facing a retrial after his guilty plea was overturned on a technicality, the station said.

Cops tried to find relatives of Greaves without success. Fisher then offered to help. The search was complicated. Greaves was raised by her grandmother, who was deceased. So were her mother and a woman who lived with Greaves in Woods Cross. The roommate was the last person to speak to Greaves on the phone. Greaves had moved to Utah from New Jersey in 1977 and her father’s name was not listed on her birth certificate.

“I started out by going to a missing person’s website,” Fisher told the News. “It gave her date of birth, when she went missing, and it said she had been wearing the Collingswood, N.J. high school ring.”

He found a Facebook page for the high school’s Class of ’77. That led to a conversation with a woman named Debbie Veevers who told Fisher the yearbook had home addresses of graduates.

At Fisher’s urging Veevers went to the neighborhood where Greaves lived. She found a neighbor who said Greaves lived with her grandmother and two great uncles.

After dozens of telephone calls the trail took Fisher to Florida.

“Eventually, the way it worked, I found the uncle of Theresa through his daughter-in-law by leaving a phone message at the home of her ex-mother-in-law,” he said.

Police in Utah have told reporters the investigation into Greaves disappearance is an active homicide investigation.