During the 1 1/2 years since Jennifer Ruff learned that her husband, Bryan, was missing from his guard shack at Kennecott, she has heard numerous theories about his whereabouts, including a suggestion that he may have left his daughter and pregnant wife of his own accord.
That particular theory proved unfounded Saturday when campers found Ruff's body after spring runoff unearthed his remains from a shallow grave in Five Mile Pass, southwest of Fairfield. The badly decomposed body carried Ruff's wallet, identification and a tattered security uniform, Salt Lake County sheriff's spokesman Rod Norton said.At the time of his disappearance, Ruff had worked for Burns International Security Services, which contracts with Kennecott, for 11 months. Ruff would have turned 24 in August.
An autopsy performed Sunday indicated the man died of multiple gunshot wounds, confirming his death as a homicide.
In the preceding months, Jennifer Ruff had marked his disappearance by tying up the loose ends associated with a death. She filed for divorce to avoid legal complications that stemmed from his missing-person status and gave birth to a second child, Jessica, who will never see her father.
On the first anniversary of his disappearance, Jennifer told the Deseret News that she believed her husband was dead.
Bryan Ruff's locked car was found in the parking lot of the Kennecott guard station Dec. 10, 1991. His half-eaten lunch sat in the shack and there were no signs of a struggle. Ruff was last seen alive about 6:30 p.m., when he was checked during a routine patrol. Less than two hours later, the shack was found empty.
Investigators had initially considered that Ruff may have walked away from the shack of his own accord. He had earlier left his job for less than a week in 1991 but returned and was rehired.
Following the disappearance of Margo Bond from Kennedy Junior High School in West Valley City on Feb. 21, 1992, detectives considered the two cases may be connected, a fact that Jennifer Ruff had said she found "distressing." When Bond's body was found in a shallow grave, conjecture continued that the two cases were related. That theory has been dropped, Norton said.
In the months following Ruff's disappearance, a Florida psychic had told Bryan Ruff's family that he had come upon two men doing something illegal and they had kidnapped and killed him with a blow to the head, either by force or gunfire.
At this point, investigators are continuing to sort through evidence, Norton said.