Hypothermia may be cause of death for boy


    By Krystal Baker

    The Summit County investigation team in the Gage Wayment case released hypothermia as the tentative cause of 2-year-old Gage’s death.

    Medical examiners believe Gage died Thursday, Oct. 26.

    Gage’s body was found Tuesday morning, Nov. 1, under two inches of snow.

    The boy had minor scratches to the face, few bruises and additional injuries on the bottom of his feet, according to the Utah Medical Examiner report.

    The injuries were caused during an estimated 2 to 2 1/2 mile trek through the heavily wooded area. There was no evidence of abnormal or traumatic injuries, according to the Medical Examiner report.

    Volunteer searcher James Wilkes from Kearns, Utah, found the boy lying in a fetal position, with the feet of his pajamas worn through, said Detective Robert Berry of the Summit County Sheriff Department. Wilkes found no evidence of footprints around the body.

    Wilkes was lost in the forest Monday night, Oct. 30, after the search was called off, Berry said.

    Wilkes spent the night with his dog in the forest. While trying to find his way out of the wooded area, his dog found the boy, Berry said.

    Wilkes picked up the child and carried him for four hours. Too tired to carry Gage farther, Wilkes set the boy down and searched for additional help, Berry said.

    Wilkes stumbled upon a jeep road where another searcher found him.

    Together they searched for the boy. Unable to find where Wilkes left Gage they contacted Summit County Search and Rescue.

    The Search and Rescue team located the boy again after searching for an additional four hours, Berry said.

    The original location of the body has not yet been determined, said Billy Stokes of Summit County Search and Rescue.

    The exact location of the original site where Gage’s body was found is important to the investigation, Stokes said.

    Wilkes will be flown in a helicopter later this week in hopes that he may identify Gage’s original location, said Lane Larkin of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office.

    Berry said there is no reason to believe Wilkes had any involvement in an abduction of the child at this point. However, the investigation team cannot rule out any suspects.

    A suspect in the case is Paul Wayment, Gage’s father, who is still under investigation, Berry said.

    Wayment continues to stand by his original story. Investigators will be administering him a polygraph test, Berry said.

    No charges of neglect or abuse have been made against Wayment at this point of the investigation, Berry said.

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