The body of a young man found near Rock Springs on Sunday August 19 has been officially confirmed to be that of a missing Rock Springs youth.

In a joint release, Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell, Rock Springs Police Chief Mike Lowell, and County Coroner Dale Majhanovich said the remains have been positively identified as those of Rigoberto Alvarado, Jr., 17, who was reported missing to the Rock Springs Police Department by his father on July 30.  Haskell said a group of people exploring the remains of long-abandoned coal camps and coal mining operations outside of Rock Springs came upon the body and notified authorities.

An autopsy was performed on August 21 in Loveland, Colorado, where Alvarado’s identity was confirmed and the manner of death determined to be homicide.  Investigators said Alvarado sustained a range of injuries, but declined to describe them as the precise cause of death remains to be determined by ongoing forensic examination.  The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office and the Rock Springs Police Department are conducting a joint investigation.

Alvarado’s disappearance has been the subject of intense investigation since the day of his disappearance.  Lowell said Police Department detectives and uniformed patrol officers have been systematically following up leads and conducting ground searches that included deployment of a Sheriff’s Office bloodhound and County Search & Rescue tracking dogs.

Officials said the focus of the investigation at this stage is on tracking Alvarado’s movements, particularly on July 29, when he left the family’s apartment in west Rock Springs at about 8:30 PM.  He did not return home that night, and his father contacted the Police Department the next day.

A reward of $5,000 is being offered for information resulting in the arrest and conviction of persons involved in Alvarado’s death.  Anyone who has such information is asked to contact either the Rock Springs Police Department at (307) 389-0264 or the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office at (307) 350-4010.  Calls will be handled with discretion.