ELKO — Authorities were awaiting positive identification Wednesday to determine whether a body found in rural Elko County is that of a University of Nevada, Reno professor missing since Aug. 19.
Elko County Undersheriff Rocky Gonzalez said a motorist found the body around 4 p.m. Tuesday about 1,500 feet off old Highway 93, 40 miles north of Wells.
Gonzalez said no identification was found but some characteristics fit the description of Judy Calder, who was reported missing by her family on Aug. 19.
“We do have one or two items that do fit the description,” Gonzalez told The Associated Press.
The body was found face down and appeared to have been in the desert for a few days, the undersheriff said.
“It’s too early to say this is the person who has been missing from Reno-Sparks,” Gonzalez said. “We don’t want to jump the gun until there is positive identification.”
Gonzalez said Sparks detectives were notified.
Sparks Police Cmdr. Steve Asher could not be reached for immediate comment.
Elko County detectives preserved the scene where the body was found overnight. The woman’s remains were removed about midday Wednesday and were being taken to the Washoe County Crime Lab in Reno for identification and autopsy, Gonzalez said.
Calder, 64, is an associate professor in the department of Human Development and Family studies.
She and her husband live in Incline Village, but Calder was staying at John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks the weekend she disappeared.
Sparks police on Tuesday said they confirmed that Calder was seen leaving the Nugget around 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 18, and that she was seen by another faculty member on campus that day between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Police said Calder’s brown 2000 Lexus was found near the university Aug. 19 in an area she would have no reason to be in.