Facebook Twitter

Father whose young son died of exposure is found dead at scene

SHARE Father whose young son died of exposure is found dead at scene

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who was supposed to begin a jail sentence for negligent homicide in the death of his young son was found dead Wednesday in the same mountains where the boy disappeared.

Paul Wayment's body was discovered Wednesday afternoon, KSL radio reported. No further information about the cause of death was immediately available, but a medical examiner was reportedly on the way to the scene.

Wayment, 38, was supposed to turn himself in to the Summit County Jail at 10 a.m. Wednesday to begin a 30-day sentence for the death of his 28-month-old son, Gage.

But he never showed, county authorities said.

At around 11:30 a.m., Summit County sheriff's deputies spotted Wayment's pickup truck parked on private hunting land in the Chalk Creek area above Coalville, according to detective Robert Berry.

That's the same spot Wayment left Gage in his truck Oct. 26 as he went scouting for deer. When he returned after about 45 minutes, the toddler was gone. His frozen body was found more than five days later more than a mile from the truck, with scratches on his face and the feet on his pajamas worn through.

Berry said Wayment's parents told deputies their son had planned to visit the mountains for a short period Tuesday evening after the judge handed down his 30-day sentence. The order was a surprise, because prosecutors had specifically recommended against jail time as a condition of Wayment's no-contest plea to negligent homicide.

In court Tuesday, Wayment seemed subdued as he read a short statement before the judge, saying he loved his only child "with all my heart and soul."

"In one brief and monumental moment while Gage slept in the truck, I made the biggest mistake of my life. . . . If I could change places with my son, I would give up my life in a second," Wayment said.

Family spokeswoman Valerie Burke, Wayment's sister, was on her way to the scene Wednesday and could not be reached. His attorney, Glen Cook, was in court.