SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 New) – A young woman relocated to Utah to receive a college degree and start a career. Her dreams ended May 5th, 1977 when she was brutally murdered.
Her whole life was ahead of her until one day, three decades ago when she disappeared from a busy Salt Lake City street corner.
Valaine Briggs was described as a serious student at the LDS Business College. Briggs was described as regimented, determined and according to some, a creature of habit.
When Briggs left class around noon and failed to make it to her apartment only four blocks away, everyone knew something had gone terribly wrong.
Detective Todd Park says, “She would always walk the same path. There were several people who had witnessed her walk that path in previous days and weeks. There was nothing suspicious or out of the ordinary.”
Park says that when Briggs left class, she was heading home to meet some of her roommates to go shopping.
“There was nothing to show that she was in any danger at all,” says Parks.
Scott Berry was the fiancé of Briggs. “She would be there. If she promised to do something, she would be there. That was the kind of person she was.”
Berry says that he was shocked when he heard the news of Brigg’s disappearance. “I just collapsed and I cried and cried and cried. It was the worst thing I’d heard in my life. There was no reason for it. And it never goes away,” says Berry.
After nearly three decades, neither Berry nor any of Brigg’s family knows exactly what happened to her after she disappeared. They have not seen the pictures of a body found five days later, at the bottom of Lamb’s Canyon, just East of Salt Lake City.
Four teenaged hikers spotted Brigg’s body at the bottom of a culvert. She was bound hand and foot and wrapped in plastic bags. Autopsy confirmed that Brigg’s had been strangled to death.
Detective Park says he’s still confident the brutal crime that ended the 18-year-old, college student’s life, can still be solved but they need help from the public, someone who knows what happened 33-years-ago.
ABC 4 News and Detective Park are urging viewers to take action to help investigators solve the unsolved cases we bring you every Tuesday.
You can contact Detective Park during the day at this phone number:
In the evening, call the Unified Police Department dispatch:
You can also contact him via e-mail by going on his cold case web page:
Just click on “Solve a Crime” then click on “Cold Cases.”
And to see all the cold cases throughout the state of Utah, go to the Attorney General’s website:
You can also contact Detective Park at: (801) 743-5850.