Updated: Tuesday, 26 Jul 2011, 10:29 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 26 Jul 2011, 10:29 PM MDT
PROVO, U.T. (KRQE) - Utah County Sheriff's Deputies identified an inmate held in a jail cell for more than three weeks as a missing man from Farmington, N.M.
Phillip T. Beavers, 61, refused to tell Provo police officers and deputies who he was, sparking a nationwide search to identify the inmate dubbed "John Doe."
"His responses are, 'I can't tell you,'" said Lt. Dennis Harris from the Utah County Sheriff's Office.
Beavers was arrested on July 1 after police caught him trespassing in the department's garage and looking into squad cars. Harris said he refused to leave, so officers arrested him on charges of criminal trespassing, interfering with an investigation and failure to give information to a police officer. His bond was set at $1,200.
"We tried going different routes," said Harris. "But when it comes anywhere close to identifying him in any way shape or form, he steers clear from it."
Harris said deputies had no idea if their mystery inmate was a wanted man or an average Joe, so they checked lists of fugitives and missing persons from around the country to look for a match. When their searches were unsuccessful, Harris said they turned to the local media.
"We have literally received hundreds of e-mails, phone calls," said Harris. "We had people tell us he was Johnny Carson, D.B. Cooper, Lee Harvey Oswald."
But Tuesday morning, Harris said deputies received a call from Nevada, who called to identify the mystery inmate as his brother. Family members told deputies they lost contact with Beavers in late June. Harris said Beavers lost his job and got on a bus to Salt Lake City on June 24.
"We're still not sure why he wanted to keep it secret," said Harris. "I'm sure there's more to the story."
Beavers remained behind bars at the Utah County Jail as of Tuesday evening.
Deputies said Beavers' family plans on picking him up to bring him back to New Mexico. News 13 contacted family members, who would only say Beavers is a "very secretive" man.
The Farmington Police Department said there was no missing persons report filed for Beavers. According to online court records, he was arrested in Albuquerque more than a decade ago on a marijuana charge.