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Orem woman is charged with abuse of man's body

An Orem woman was charged with abusing or desecrating a dead human body, a third-degree felony, in connection with the drug-related death of her friend.

Laurie L. Paskett, 35, also known as Laurie Ortiz, appeared in 4th District Court Thursday. Judge Lynn W. Davis ordered Paskett to return to court for a waiver hearing March 18.When Paskett was arrested Feb. 13, police booked her into jail for investigation of negligent homicide and obstructing justice. Prosecutors, however, charged her with the lesser crime and declined to file additional charges.

Orem police said Paskett and Michael S. Withers, 31, Provo, were injecting themselves with heroin Feb. 12 in Paskett's trailer at 441 S. State. When Withers began having problems, Paskett allegedly tried to revive him but didn't call police.

After Withers died, Paskett placed his body in a sleeping bag and covered it with debris in a back bedroom of the trailer, police said. She then went to a friend's house. The body was discovered about 12 hours later after one of Paskett's friends found out Withers was dead and called police.