Overview of Valaine Briggs
Valaine Briggs was an 18-year-old college student.
Valaine is originally from Dillon, Montana, but had moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, to attend the LDS Business School. Those who knew Valaine describe her as incredibly punctual. Sadly, there is very little information about Valaine and her case.
Valaine was last seen leaving the building where her class was at approximately 11:20 a.m. on May 5, 1977.
That day, she had plans to go shopping with her roommate. However, Valaine never arrived at their shared apartment. Her roommate contacted her boyfriend because they both knew it was highly unusual and out of character for Valaine to not show up. Her boyfriend went to the LDS business school and found her car still in the parking lot but no sign of Valaine. Most of Valaine’s family was located in Montana, but she did have an uncle who was local and reported her missing along with her boyfriend. As soon as Valaine was reported missing authorities set up a four-block area search within the location of her school and her apartment.
On May 7, 1977, around 4:45 p.m., hikers found an unidentified nude woman and school books approximately a quarter mile up Lambs Canyon.
Authorities were called in and an autopsy was performed the next day. Valaine’s cause of death was strangulation by a cord believed to be a quarter-inch thick, her hands and feet were bound, part of her body was covered by a green plastic garbage bag and there were signs of sexual assault. Authorities were able to rule out the likelihood of Valaine’s case being connected to some of the other murders that occurred in the area.
In July 1977, a 17-year-old female was hitchhiking near the Beaverhead County line and was brought to the other side of town.
The resident who picked up the unnamed girl noticed that the identification had “Valaine Briggs”. The resident contacted local police and the unnamed girl was questioned for four days by authorities. It was later determined that the girl had no known connection or relevant knowledge of the murder. She had acquired the false identification from an unknown man in Salt Lake City back in May. The unnamed girl was a runaway and police put her on a bus back to Salt Lake City. While police have interviewed potential suspects, no individual has been identified publicly and her case remains unsolved.