The Wyoming Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office announced recent reports about human remains found near the Jim Bridger Power Plant in Sweetwater County, Wyoming included incorrect information.
On January 17, 2020, a media source in Fremont County, Wyoming called “County 10” published an article regarding a new episode of the podcast “Dead & Gone in Wyoming”. The article reported the discovery of human remains in the area of Jim Bridger Power Plant in Sweetwater County.
The podcast was intended to bring light to the discovery and a possible correlation between those remains and the case of missing person, Sharon Baldeagle, who was last seen in Casper, Wyoming in September 1984.
Since the publication of the article, many people have shared the information on social media, and a local newspaper published the County 10 article on its front page.
While investigating the credibility of the information published by County 10, this reporter contacted five agencies in both Wyoming and South Dakota for more information about the alleged discovery of human remains, but received no return phone calls.
On Thursday, January 23, the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office released a statement about the article stating, “Information for the podcast by a volunteer for the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office was not an official statement from this office and contained erroneous information, which we wish to dispel. In June 2019 a portion of a human skull was discovered in the area of Jim Bridger Power Plant, and reported to the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Land Management. At the time, the age of the remains was unable to be determined. In late September 2019, the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, Sweetwater County Coroner’s Office, Bureau of Land Management, and University of Wyoming Anthropology Department personnel conducted an additional search in order to locate more remains from the initial discovery. At this time, additional portions of skeletal remains were located and taken to the University of Wyoming for additional analysis, which is still underway.
While the case remains under investigation, it appears that the remains are that of a younger female of either European or Native American descent and are, more likely than not, prehistoric in nature.
Additional testing and analysis is being conducted by the University of Wyoming Anthropology Department, which should provide further insight as to the age and origin of the remains.
The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the calls from diligent podcast listeners hoping to provide insight into the whereabouts of Ms. Baldeagle, but at this time we do not have reason to believe that the located remains are those of Ms. Baldeagle. The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office apologizes for the false hope provided to Ms. Baldeagle’s family due to this erroneous information, but remains hopeful that she will eventually be located.”
Sharon Baldeagle’s case
Sharon Baldeagle and her friend ran away from Hot Springs, South Dakota on September 18, 1984. The pair were picked up by suspected serial killer Royal Russell Long, who previously worked as a trucker. Long allegedly drove to his residence in Evansville, Wyoming and held the girls at gunpoint after they entered. Baldeagle’s companion managed to free herself and reported the abduction after both were subjected to physical abuse. At least one sexual assault occurred after they refused his attempt at solicitation.
when police arrived at Long’s home, neither he nor Sharon were found. One week later, Long was apprehended in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He claimed he dropped Sharon off in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was unaware if she was alive or not. By early 1985, he was given life in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping and assault.