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Missing Pl. Grove man is found

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PROVO — A 24-year-old Pleasant Grove man who disappeared after a late-night beer party in June has been found living on the street in Jerome, Idaho.

But how Kevan B. Jakeman arrived in the farming town in south central Idaho — and why he didn't return to his Pleasant Grove home — remains a mystery to investigators.

Police have been searching for Jakeman since he was reported missing eight weeks ago. The Pleasant Grove man, who was last seen hitchhiking, was feared dead.

Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Jerry Monson said Jakeman was found by missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jakeman, although reportedly homeless and sleeping in a park in Twin Falls, Idaho, contacted the missionaries and asked for a blessing.

Monson said Jakeman said his name was "Bryce" — which actually is his middle name — when he first talked to the two missionaries. When he received the blessing, however, he told the missionaries his full name.

Later, when the missionaries were in a meetinghouse, they started thumbing through a booklet that lists the names of LDS church members who have been reported missing.

"This missionary, for whatever reason, picked up the roster and found his name," Monson said. The missionary called the contact number on the roster, which was the family's bishop, and then police were called.

Monson said Jakeman was found by police on Monday. He returned to his family's home with his father later that day.

Monson said Jakeman said he doesn't remember much about the past few months or how he arrived in Jerome.

"I asked him if he could tell me. He acts like he can't remember," Monson said. "I don't think he wants to remember. He just said he was afraid to go home and wanted to stay alive."

This week's discovery of Jakeman's whereabouts ends a lengthy investigation.

A weeklong search that started after he didn't return home after a party in Springdell ended when police received a tip that a man had given Jakeman a ride from Provo Canyon to 800 North in Orem the day after the party.

"After we got that call we knew he'd left the canyon alive," Monson said.

Monson said Jakeman was assaulted by other men at the keg party. The fight reportedly started when a few men tried to help Jakeman after he got his car stuck on an off-road spot.

"Apparently, he almost ran one of the guys over," he said. "They started to pound on the car and then they started to pound on him."

Monson said Jakeman did not attempt to contact family or friends or access money in the bank while he was missing.