The mother of a missing Utah woman who was found dead last week believes she was abducted by a couple.
On Aug. 23, the body of 26-year-old Stevie Shay Wilkerson was found in a remote area of western Iron County. Wilkinson had been reported missing earlier in the month. She appeared to have been murdered, the Iron County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release obtained by PEOPLE.
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Wilkerson was last seen leaving a motel in St. George on Aug. 9. The following day, her mother, Vawna Wilkerson, took to social media to plead for help, saying her daughter had been “taken against her own will” and was “being held hostage” by a couple she “accidentally crossed paths with” at the Red Roof Inn in St. George.
She added: “Please help me find my beautiful baby girl…they are armed and have threatened to kill her.”
the discovery of Wilkerson’s body, her cousin, Angie Golish, told the Deseret News the family is reeling.
“My aunt said it feels extra tragic that she would die this way, because she was truly a person who wouldn’t hurt anyone or anything,” Golish said, according to the paper. “She was so kindhearted and loved all animals, big and small. She dreamed of being a veterinarian growing up.”
According to Wilkerson’s Facebook page, on June 26, she posted about looking for an apartment for her, her boyfriend and their dog, the News reports.
Wilkerson’s body “had been in the area for some time” when it was found, the Iron County Sheriff’s Office said in the news release. The sheriff’s office declined to comment further on the case, citing an ongoing investigation.
No arrests have been made in Wilkerson’s death.
Anyone with information regarding Wilkerson is asked to call the Iron County Sheriff’s Office at 435-867-7500.