New details in search for Joyce Yost prompted by podcast

Aug 18, 2021, 12:52 PM

joyce yost search takes crews to monte cristo range...

Walton Canyon on the eastern slope of Utah’s Monte Cristo Range is a conduit for cattle drives. Ranchers use Utah State Highway 39 to move stock between summer and winter range, meaning animal bones are often present alongside the road. Photo: Dave Cawley, KSL Podcasts

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah — The recently published season 2 of the COLD podcast may have helped resurface a lead in the decades-old search for the remains of missing and murdered woman Joyce Yost. 

A source came forward after hearing the podcast, which is currently rolling out to all podcast platforms. Prior to now, the season has been available exclusively on Amazon Music. 

The murder of Joyce Yost 

For 36 years, the family of Joyce Yost has wondered where Douglas Lovell, the man eventually convicted of her murder, took her on the night in 1985 when he killed her. 

“I don’t think we have any peace until we have something,” Yost’s daughter, Kim Salazar, said. 

Lovell murdered Joyce Yost in order to prevent her from testifying against him in a rape trial. He was convicted anyway, in part because of pre-trial testimony Yost provided before she disappeared. Later, Lovell admitted to the crime in a failed effort to avoid the death penalty. 

The search for Joyce Yost

Lovell claimed he buried Joyce Yost near Snowbasin Ski Resort. He even accompanied police on more than one search in that area. South Ogden detectives spent weeks in the summer of 1993 scouring the areas indicated by Lovell. They did not locate any trace of Yost’s remains.

The COLD podcast’s second season described an encounter between Lovell, his wife and a wildlife officer in a remote area of Rich County, Utah. At that time, COLD lacked information as to the exact location of the encounter or name of the wildlife officer.

A source comes forward

Former Rich County sheriff Dan Cockayne heard the episodes and contacted COLD. He escorted COLD host Dave Cawley to the site where wildlife officer LaVon Thomas had suspected Lovell of poaching two deer.

“I’ve been up here quite a few times looking, yeah,” Cockayne said. “We came up after the fact and found his tracks where [Lovell] had been hiding off the side of the road.” 

The location is midway between the Monte Cristo campground and Woodruff on Utah State Route 39. 

“It’s remote, and the time of year they were up here, the changes of a deputy or a game warden coming up the canyon might be once a week,” Cockayne said. 

Some people, like Cockayne, believe Lovell might have headed to that site on the night he killed Joyce Yost. 

“‘Cause I don’t believe the Snowbasin thing a bit,” he added. 

Listen to the full bonus episode exploring the new lead, as well as two other possible locations, right now, free, on Amazon Music — or follow along as episodes roll out on podcast platforms everywhere in the coming weeks. 

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New details in search for Joyce Yost prompted by podcast