Amateur Detectives Break Open Cold Case During 2015 Christmas Break

In 2010, a park ranger in Dead Horse State Park in Utah crawled back to his patrol truck to call for help after being shot multiple times by an unknown assailant. A silver Pontiac was discovered later and linked to Lance Arellano, reported to have a record of drug and assault charges.

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Arellano was not found in the manhunt that followed. The trail went cold after a few weeks, and the FBI put up a $30,000 reward for anyone that had any information. He seemed to disappear into the dark canyons without any trace.

Fast forward to December 2015. Caleb Shumway is a 23-year-old college student, and since Lance Arellano disappeared five years ago, he has been obsessed with the case. He grew interested in the cold case when his father, a police officer, was part of the unsuccessful manhunt for Arellano.

Caleb grew up as an Eagle Scout, spending hours and hours hiking around in the canyons of Dead Horse State Park. With supplementary information from his father about where Arellano may have hidden and experience hiking in the canyon, Caleb convinced his younger brother Jarom to spend their Christmas break searching for where Arellano had gone.

48 hours into their search, they found what they were looking for.

In a small cave, they found a bag with a firearm and a human bone. They took pictures, but didn’t disturb the remains. Police dug further in once the brothers turned their find into them, finding a whole skeleton further inside the cave. The remains were sent in for analysis by the Utah State Examiner, but it’s expected that it is Arellano’s skeleton.

Caleb is excited to have found the remains, and is hopeful he’ll receive the reward money from the FBI. He says his real motivation was in finding closure for the park ranger who was injured by Arellano.