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Sweetwater County Sheriff Investigating Death of Utah Police Officer

Micheal Valdes (Courtesy Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Department)

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Department is asking for help from the public in it’s investigation into the death of a Utah police officer near Green River last week.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Dick Blust says the body of Micheal Valdes, a West Valley, Utah police officer, was discovered in his vehicle Thursday night in the westbound lane of the Interstate 80 tunnel just west of Green River. Sweetwater County Coroner Dale Majhanovich determined the cause of death to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The handgun used, Valdes’s Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic, was recovered in his vehicle.

Valdes had left his home for work on Tuesday, according to investigators, but never arrived and was reported missing to the West Jordan, Utah Police Department. Blust says detectives are trying to trace Valdes’s movements between Tuesday night, March 19th and the time his body was found on Thursday.

Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell says investigators have some leads indicating that Valdes may have been seen in Rock Springs prior to his death. Valdes is described as a 37 year old black male, about 6’2 in height and weighing around 180 pounds. He was driving a black 2006 Infiniti SUV  with Utah plates. Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Department.

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