New Castle woman’s body found in Utah |

New Castle woman’s body found in Utah

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Rose Backhaus

CASTLE DALE, UTAH ” The body of a New Castle woman who had been missing since November was found Saturday in eastern Utah.

Three hikers found the body of Rose Backhaus, 54, in the upper Chute Canyon area near Little Wild Horse Canyon, in Goblin Valley State Park, Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon said.

Guymon said he was contacted about 3:30 p.m. Saturday while he was riding his mountain bike in the area and was on the scene shortly after.

“I am glad that we are able to get closure for the family,” Guymon said. “And that we’re able to get Rose back to her family. It’s been a tough winter.”

The sheriff’s office, volunteers, family members and friends had conducted several searches of the area where her truck was found without success.

The sheriff’s office assumes that Backhaus was hiking the Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon loop but, took a wrong turn off the actual trail and got lost. Guymon said it’s an easy thing to do in the area.

“There is no signage on that end of the trail to tell you when you need to make the loop,” Guymon said.

Guymon said that her body was found in one of several slot canyons, an extremely difficult one to get out of. He said that she was stopped by about a 50-foot cliff, and she could not get back up the way she came.

“The area she was in, I would assume that the three guys that found her were probably the first ones to go in there this year,” Guymon said.

According to, the Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon loop, an 8-mile round-trip half-day hike, is one of the most popular hikes in the San Rafael Swell. The website indicates there is nothing extremely difficult about the hike, but some navigation is required since there are no signs.

Backhaus was last seen Nov. 16 checking out of the La Quinta Inn in Moab. Authorities discovered her Ford Explorer on Nov. 24 at Goblin Valley State Park, about 70 miles west of Moab. A witness told the sheriff’s office that Backhaus was seen walking into the Little Wild Horse Canyon.

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