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Joseph's dissapearance described by his paternal aunt


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Friday, June 12th, 2009 - On evening of Friday June 12, 2009, Joseph Schmidt and numerous friends attended a “Get Funky” party at the Saltair Facility, located just west of Salt Lake City.

o   Arriving at the event at approximately 10:30 pm, Joseph and two friends (Kacy Bott  and his girlfriend, Kelly Bills enter the Saltair facility.  Kacy was the driver of the vehicle.

o   Shortly after arrival, approximately 11:00 – 11:30  pm, Joseph (and/or Kacy) are evicted from the Facility for a unverified reason, Sheriff Officers policing the Saltair Facility, evict Joseph from the event. Though news media claim his eviction for possession of a cigarette lighter, friends claim it was for possession of two glow lights.  Patty McCarty, Saltair staff member, indicated possession of either items would not have served justification for eviction from the event.  Patty and Kacy convey that it was Kacy Bott who was evicted from the event.


o   11:30 pm to 6/13/09 approx 1:30 am - Joseph and Kacy Bott leave the event center and sit in the car they arrived in, which is located in the fenced Saltair parking lot. According to Kacy, he and Joseph just chatted and listened to music in the car, due to what was reported to be moderate to heavy rain showers, awaiting the event to end and travel home with Kelly (Kacy’s girlfriend).


o   Note - Subsequent questioning of Kacy on several occasions indicate Joseph was in a good frame of mind, and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


o   An associate of Kacy Bott, Daniel Schmidt and others, named “Jay”, reported that when leaving the parking lot on the night of Joseph’s disappearance, he observed an unkempt and nervous individual, who was soaking wet, came up from the pond area, and asked him for a ride, and he provided transport for this individual to a yet unknown location Dripping guy had like a mowhawk hair cut, unkempt clothing, etc


o   Note – Subsequent questioning of Daniel and others indicate Joseph was known to be in the possession of “1/4 ounce of mushrooms” earlier in the evening, and was visually observed consuming some. Quantity unknown. Other drugs in possession unknown.


o   Nearing the end of the party, Kacy Bott, leaves Joseph in car, and returns to the Saltair Facility to gather friends for the trip home. 6/13/09 approx 1:30 am Leaving Joseph in the car with it’s keys, Kacy Bott returned to the event center to meet with other attendees in preparation for trip home (actual entry back into the facility unknown). Spanning the next 1 to 1 1/2 hours, Joseph is alone in the car (to the best of knowledge) and contacts Kacy three times via cell phone (2 calls & 1 text), and brother Daniel once (1 call)

o   Phone record:

o   6/13/09 1:40 am – Text message from Joseph (677-4720) to Kacy (679-3219)

o   6/13/09 1:37 am – 1 min. phone call from Joseph (677-4720) to Kacy (679-3219)

o   6/13/09 1:29 am – 1 min. phone call from Joseph (677-4720) to Kacy (679-3219)

o   6/13/09 1:19 am – 1 min. phone call from Joseph (677-4720) to Daniel (677-1830)




Saturday, June 13th, 2009

o   approx 2:45 am, accompanied by Kelly Bills, Kacy Bott returns to the vehicle in the parking lot, to find it is unlocked with keys on seat, but no evidence of Joseph or his whereabouts. Awaiting Joseph’s return, Kacy and others search the parking lot area, and inquire among other friends and event attendees as to knowledge of Joseph’s whereabouts. After waiting for Joseph’s return for approximately 1 hour, and no visual or verbal contact, Kacy and Kelly return to the Salt Lake City apartment that he shared with Joseph, assuming he may have caught a ride with another party. However, upon arrival to the home, Joseph was not there.

o   Note: Per one conversation between Kacy Bott and Patty McCarty, when Kacy and his mother went to the Saltair Facility to hang missing persons posters, Kacy volunteered that he was the one who had been kicked out for possessing a lighter, and that when he left the event, he gave someone a ride to Salt Lake who was drenched  (not clear if from rain or other means) (location of Joseph at this time is unknown)

o   Upon Kacy’s return to the vehicle, Joseph is not in the vehicle, and friends initiate a search for Joseph.

o   police and area hospitals are notified of Joseph’s disappearance. 6/13/09 approx 10:00 am.  Following numerous attempts to contact Joseph by phone, Daniel, Kacy and other friends notify and inquire police as to whether Joseph may have been arrested, and begin calling area hospitals to see if he had been possibly injured and admitted. In all cases, unable to locate Joseph.

o   Note – excluding one voice message from Kacy at 8:20 am, asking Joseph to please return a call, no voice messages were recorded into Joseph’s phone mailbox until father (Stephen) is notified and leaves a message asking Joseph to call at 4:20 pm

o   3:30 pm Daniel notifies father, Stephen Schmidt who was on vacation in Florida with youngest son, Michael Schmidt about Joseph’s disappearance.  Father inquires about circumstances and asks about contact with police and hospitals, in which Daniel reports that they have been contacted, but police refuse to initiate a search because “a nineteen year old adult has the right to disappear” and “Joseph has been missing less than 24 hours”. Father then attempts several phone calls to Joseph.  Father requests that Daniel not contact his mother, Elaine Martinez (in Spokane WA) and possibly worry her needlessly. At this time, Stephen Schmidt tells Michael Schmidt that his brother is missing.  Daniel states that he and friends will travel back to Saltair to continue the search for Joseph.  Michael sends his mother, Elaine Martinez, a text message to notify her that Joseph is missing.

o   4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Stephen Schmidt (father) makes several phone calls to Daniel, Kacy, and other friends inquiring if Joseph has been found, with no favorable report.


Sunday, June 14th 2009

o   a missing persons report is filed with police, and police initiate search efforts.  Joseph’s family and friends also conduct a search near the Saltair facility. 6/15/09 10:00 am, Elaine Martinez (Mother) finds “Susan’s law” clause which requires law enforcement to follow up on any and all missing person cases where the missing person is below the drinking age, and there is evidence of alcohol being present at an event. Mother contacts Salt Lake Missing Persons Dept. and files a report.

o   8:00 am- Stephen Schmidt talks with Kacy and Daniel to inquire if Joseph had been found. They report they had found no evidence of him and had contacted police again, and the police stated there was no intention to take any further action.

o   10:00 am Elaine Martinez (Mother) contacts police, who again refuse to get involved. Father attempts to pull Verizon cell phone records, but does not have login and password information. Family & friends continue the search for Joseph. 

o   Until late in the afternoon on Sunday June 14th, Joseph’s phone would ring numerous times before going to voice mail, indicating it was/is in a dry location.




Monday, June 15th, 2009 - Kacy Bott  and his mother, along with others begin circulating and posting missing person flyers.


o   2:00 pm – Elaine Martinez (Mother) relays information to Stephen Schmidt (Father) regarding filing of Missing Persons Report, who then contacts Sue Christopher the Department Head. Father relays as much information he has regarding circumstances to Sue, and suggests search ideas.  E.G. vents and other possible Saltair building entry points, beachfront, local desert, use of scent dogs, etc.

o   Search for Joseph continues. Additional flyers are posted and handed out by family and friends. Sue Christopher reports that officers have gone out to the Saltair location and completed a search, with no indication found as to Joseph’s whereabouts. Sue also indicates that a search helicopter would be used to see if Joseph was in the local desert area.  Although Sue Christopher indicated lengthy searches were done, and involving several law officers, local Rangers who police the nearby marina and Saltair Facility on a daily basis, and Patty McCarty the Curious Shop Manager, report they were not even made aware that a person was missing in the area.


Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

o   (5 days later) Joseph’s father, Stephen Schmidt, and Joseph’s younger brother, Michael Schmidt return from vacationing in Florida and conduct their own search around the Saltair Facility, they see an object floating in the center of a nearby pond, but due to fading light, was unable to continue search.  


o   8:00 am to 2:00 pm - Search for Joseph continues. Daniel and friends again search the immediate area near Saltair, as well as several police officers on the ground, accompanied by a search helicopter. 

o   7:30 pm - Arriving back in Salt Lake City, from Tampa FL, Stephen Schmidt (Father) and youngest son Michael travel back to Saltair  to continue the search for Joseph. Leaving the interstate highway and driving on the short frontage road to Saltair, Michael immediately see an object in the middle of a pond immediately to the left of the vehicle. Leaving the vehicle and scanning from the pond shoreline, Father and son review the distant object, and incorrectly determine it as an animal or possibly rocks in the pond. The object did not resemble a clothed human body, due to all tan color (excluding a large dark area on one side), bloated condition, and poor lighting (overcast & raining – late in evening). Having his camera along, Michael snaps a picture of the object. Father and son then search the property immediately adjoining the Saltair Facility, banging on numerous locked storage sheds and containers in the area  and calling his name in case Joseph might be trapped in one. 

o   10:00 pm – Stephen Schmidt (Father) and youngest son, Michael, arrive at Evanston, WY home, and are met by Daniel and another friend. After short discussion of case and search, Michael shows Daniel and friend the picture he snapped of the object observed in the pond. Having an un-easy feeling about the object, Daniel and friend elect to travel back to Saltair the next day to continue searching for Joseph.  Stephen Schmidt (Father) researches bank and phone records the next day to see if any activity occurred since initial date of disappearance.




Thursday, June 18th , 2009 - Joseph’s twin brother Daniel Schmidt, younger brother, Michael Schmidt and other friends return to Saltair for another search of the area, this is when the object originally seen on June 17th in the pond is determined to be Joseph’s naked body and the police are notified. Police recover the naked body, and conduct a search for clothing, and find only one shoe near the pond shoreline.

o   Single shoe was located on the western side of the pond, in an area where access to the pond was significantly restricted by tall vegetation.


o    8:00 am - Daniel and friends arrive at father’s home, pick up Michael and a pair of high-power binoculars, and head to Saltair to resume search. Father goes to Verizon store and bank to inquire about Joseph’s accounts. 

o   10:00 – 11:00 am - Daniel, Michael and friends arrive at the Saltair Facility, and after conducting a short search of the parking lot and immediate area near the building, go to the pond location. Using binoculars, Daniel identifies a tattoo similar to one known to be on Joseph’s body, on the object in the center of the pond. Daniel and friends notify police, who then arrive, retrieve the body, and initiate a search of the area, for the body is found to be stripped naked. One shoe of , identified as being Joseph’s, is discovered near the shore of the pond, but no other clothing and possessions were located. Note – to date (7/10/09), no other clothing or possessions on Joseph’s person on the night of his disappearance have been found.

o   1:00 pm - Father receives a call from Kacy Bott who reports he “has bad news” and that “a body was found in a pond at the Saltair Facility” Father inquires as to the source of the information, to which Kacy reports as being his mother. Father turns on radio and internet news and finds leading story of discovery of missing 19 year old man being discovered in pond near Saltair. Father calls and informs Mother of events.

o   4:00 pm - Daniel and Michael return to Father’s Wyoming home and confirm finding “Joseph’s” body, and notifies father of law enforcement’s need to conduct an autopsy.


Friday, June 19th, 2009 - police officials oversee an autopsy of the body, and then release the body to family for burial. Results of autopsy pending, but police and media theorize that drowning is the cause of death.  

o   1:00 pm - Father contacts Detective Adamson, per request, who informs father of preliminary information regarding condition of Joseph’s body. Detective Adamson indicates he believes Joseph’s death is due to a simple drowning, when he got stuck in the mud of the deep pond, and also all other clothing and possessions are in the pond. Father disputes theory and informs Detective Adamson that Joseph was an excellent swimmer, and stripping bare naked to go swimming was very uncharacteristic of Joseph.

o   Note – subsequent information regarding pond through searchers wading in to find clothing and discussion with Rangers indicate the pond averages only 4 feet in depth and has a solid bottom, despite the mucky shoreline. 

o   Additional information regarding the presence of significant blistering and decomposition indicated it had been exposed to the atmosphere for some time.

o   Additional information indicates Joseph’s body displayed significant swelling in the head and neck area.


Additional Facts & Information:

  • When reviewing internet “MySpace” texts between friends and associates of Joseph’s, shortly after the news of his death is made known, one suspicious entry is made by an individual named “Tre” that states “It was just good business”
  • To date (7/10/09), it is not known if Detectives investigating the case of Joseph’s death have interviewed/spoken with any parties other than immediate family members (father, mother, brother Daniel, and Diane – Aunt who spoke with Park Rangers and Patty McCarty), including Kacy Bott, Kelly Bills, other friends and associates at event, Park Rangers, Patty McCarty, event security personnel, etc., but indication is that they have not made any contact with personnel that may have information regarding events leading to his death.
  • Diane Schmidt’s (Joseph’s aunt) conversation with Kacy Bott:
    • Kacy stated that Joseph rode with him and his (Kacy’s) girlfriend, in his girlfriend’s car to the Paul Van Dyk event at Saltair, arriving at 10:40pm.  Kacy and Joseph went out back to the lawn area right after they entered the building to have a smoke.  According to Kacy, Joseph was then kicked out of the event for possessing a lighter and glow sticks, so Kacy went out with Joseph to Kacy’s girlfriend’s vehicle, which was parked approximately 100 yards away, directly in front of the building.   Kacy stated that he sat with Joseph in the car listening to music and talked with him for three hours about their new apartment and “other stuff” until 1:40 am, when he went back inside to the event to find his girlfriend.   I asked Kacy if he and Joseph were drinking or doing drugs, he replied “no.”  I asked Kacy if anyone else had come out to visit with he and Joseph while they were out there (in the car), or if he noticed anyone else around the area during that time and he replied “no.” When asked how many of their friends were in attendance at the event, Kacy stated “about thirty.”  Kacy stated that the concert ended at 3:00 am, and they (I don’t know who “they” are) looked around for Joseph until 4:30 am, then left and went back to the apartment.  I thanked Kacy for his time, and hung up the phone.
    • On Thursday, June 25, 2009, I drove to Saltair with my sister Karen to speak with the Saltair employees to find out where Joseph had been found and obtain as much information as possible about the events that took place the night of his death and the time period followed, up to the discovery of his body. 
    • My sister and I spoke with Patty McCarty, Saltair Boutique Manager, explaining who we were and why we were there.  We told Ms. McCarty that it was our understanding that Joseph rode with his roommate, Kacy, and Kacy's girlfriend (name unknown), in Kacy's girlfriend's car to the Paul Van Dyk event being held at Saltair on the evening of June 12, 2009.  Joseph got kicked out of the concert for bringing glow sticks in to the event, so the roommate gave the car keys to Joseph, who in turn, went out and sat in the vehicle.  Kacy went out of the concert to visit with Joseph in the car and later, went back in to the event where his girlfriend and several other friends were in attendance.  
    • We asked Ms. McCarty if security adheres to the sign on the front of the building, which clearly states in big, bold letters “NO RE-ENTRY”.  She stated that do not allow re-entry into the building.  Ms. McCarty led my sister and me to the location where Joseph’s body was found in the pond, south of Saltair.  According to Ms. McCarty, the security at Saltair, which includes some off-duty officers, would not kick anyone out for bringing glow sticks into an event because they sell them inside and would not be able to prove whether they were purchased inside or elsewhere.   Ms McCarty stated that the only reason that an individual would be removed from the premises is if they were caught with, or suspected of possessing drugs.  Ms. McCarty also told us that when Kacy came to Saltair with his mother to place “missing” posters of Joseph inside and outside the venue, Kacy volunteered that he was the one who had been kicked out for possessing a lighter, and that when he left the event, he gave someone a ride to Salt Lake who was drenched.  In addition, Ms Carty stated that as of that time, neither she, nor any of the employees had been interviewed by local law enforcement.
    • Ms. McCarty suggested that Ranger Bob, who works at the state marina located one quarter mile to the west of Saltair, may be able to provide additional information because the state ranger’s are often called in to assist with rescues and recoveries.
    • Karen and I then traveled to the marina to speak with Bob; however, Bob was out at a rescue on Utah Lake so we spoke with Ranger Eric.  Ranger Eric stated that he was called on to assist with the recovery of Joseph, and Ranger Bob and Ranger Dave were on site as well.  Eric stated that the State Rangers at the marina were not informed of Joseph’s disappearance and were not contacted by any agency or individual until assistance was needed for the recovery of the body. 
    • Eric explained the condition of the body after it had been pulled out of the pond, noting that the back/shoulder area looked like leather as though Joseph’s back had been exposed to sun for some time, and the lower back region had large blisters likely due to exposure to the sun. 
    • Eric noted that Joseph’s head and neck were enlarged five times the size of a normal individual, and that his neck was so swollen that his jewelry could not be seen.  I asked if any of Joseph’s clothes had been found.  Eric stated that he had found one of Joseph’s tennis shoes when he kayaked the pond after the recovery, looking for Joseph’s clothing.  Eric said that Joseph’s car was in the Saltair parking lot with the keys in the ignition, and his clothing was not in the vehicle.  Eric offered to take us to the site where he found the shoe and we accepted his offer.   The shoe was found on edge of the pond, located on the opposite side of where the body was recovered, and much further to the west.  The area where the shoe was recovered had heavy growth of reeds near the water’s edge, and  tamarisk and other vegetation growing behind the reeds on the “shoreline” which would have restricted easy access to the water in that area to go “swimming”.  When asked about the depth of the pond, Eric stated that the pond is approximately four feet deep with a silted bottom.  The only open access areas to the pond are two, located on the opposite side of the pond butting up to the I-80 entrance ramp and the largest one, located a good distance to the east of where the shoe was found, where the access road, Saltair entrance and I-80 entrance ramp intersects.
    • After I spoke with Detective Adamson on June 29, 2009, I phoned my brother Steve Schmidt to obtain Kacy’s last name and telephone number.  Steve suggested that I also provide Daniel Schmidt’s cell phone number and make Detective Adamson aware that he had provided Joseph’s cell phone records to Missing Persons.  In addition, Steve gave me the number to a friend, Shea, who had went on the internet to view postings made on Face book by Daniel and Joseph’s group of friends and acquaintances to see if there was any unusual chat after the night of June 12, 2009, when Joseph disappeared.
    • I then called Shea on June 29, 2009.   She stated that she had located one entry that she thought was unusual from someone named Tre who wrote “It was just good business”.   When Shea asked Daniel about the entry, he dismissed it as having no significance. 




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