SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities are awaiting the positive identification of a body believed to be that of NFL quarterback Jay Cutler’s brother-in-law, after the remains were discovered in a steep and rocky area in an isolated part of southern Utah.
The body was found nearly two weeks after a car belonging to Michael Cavallari — the brother of reality TV personality Kristin Cavallari — was found abandoned near the area.
The body was sent to the Utah Medical Examiner to confirm the identity and determine the cause of death, a process that could take as long as two months, Grand County Sheriff Steven White said.
He said the remains were located Thursday morning near the bottom of a steep hillside filled with boulders, about 3 miles northwest of where his car was discovered on the morning of Nov. 27.
There were no bullet holes or stab wounds or other signs of foul play. It’s now up to the medical examiner to determine how he died, with toxicology reports certain to play a factor, White said.
The frigid temperatures in the area may have factored in, White said. Temperatures in the area were at or below freezing every night since the car was found up against a small embankment.
“I don’t know what his mental state might have been, with possible hypothermia,” White said.
Kristin Cavallari said in an Instagram post Thursday that her heart is in a million pieces. She posted a picture the two of them when they were small children and wrote that her brother “Mikey” had a good heart and always made her laugh.
“I’m at a loss for words but I know u are in a better place and finally at peace,” she wrote. “I love u so much RIP.”
Authorities had been searching for Michael Cavallari since his car was found with the engine running, and the air bag deployed, the day after Thanksgiving off a dirt road some 200 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Evidence shows Michael Cavallari’s 2014 Honda Civic hit a couple of big rocks and washes, likely causing the air bag to deploy, White said. Michael Cavallari’s cellphone and laptop were inside the car.
Investigators believed he was just passing through Utah, but didn’t know where he was headed or what he was doing in Utah.
Michael Cavallari, 30, was arrested in Southern California on an allegation of making threats four days before his 2014 Honda Civic was found in Utah.
He bailed out of jail Nov. 25. Two days later, a rancher discovered the car near a dirt road about 5 miles from Interstate 70.
He was single and had no kids, Sheriff Steven White said.
Kristin Cavallari rose to fame in the mid-2000s when she appeared in the MTV reality series “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills.” She is married to Cutler, who starred at Vanderbilt and now plays for the Chicago Bears. The couple has three children together.