Tenant finds human remains in cellar of woman who vanished in 1988

Posted at 7:15 PM, May 23, 2017

SPANISH FORK, Utah - The Utah State Office of the Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of human remains that were discovered in a cellar in Spanish Fork earlier this week.

The remains were identified as those of Peggy Sue Case, whom Spanish Fork police said was last seen on July 9, 1988. Case’s dental records were used to identify the remains.

Police identified Michael Kufrin as a person of interest in her disappearance. According to a statement from Spanish Fork police, Kufrin was Case’s boyfriend at the time she disappeared.

Spanish Fork police are reviewing evidence collected in 1988 and evidence obtained this week upon the discovery of the remains. Once the evidence has been reviewed and any new information is investigated, the statement said, facts of the case will be submitted to the Utah County Attorney’s Office, who will make a decision on how to proceed in this matter.

The remains were discovered in a cement cellar in the backyard of the home where Case was living at the time of the disappearance.

According to Spanish Fork police, the person who found them was in the process of moving out of the home.

“The tenant who was moving out this morning was removing some items from the cement cellar in the backyard,” explained Lt. Matt Johnson with Spanish Fork Police. “He became somewhat curious and he and the individual with him decided to dig and remove some of the soil.”

Lt. Johnson said the tenant first got the idea to dig after a neighbor had told him that a woman living in the home had gone missing back in 1988.

“They dug down approximately 18 inches and found a human skull wrapped in a blanket,” Johnson said.

Police said Case had been fighting with Kurfin and Case soon came up missing. In the days following the missing report, police said Kurfin became a person of interest and detectives began searching the property the couple shared together.

“The detective at that time spent may many hours searching the residence, as well as the space beneath the residence and checked the cellar and removed some dirt from the cellar,” Lt. Johnson added.