FV burglary suspect linked to July cabin fire

Jason Derek Saunders

FAIRVIEW—The Pyramid reported last month about a cabin at Skyline Mountain Resort that was completely destroyed by a massive fire. It appears there is more to that story that needs to be told.

Earlier that morning, Wednesday, July 29, the Fairview Police Department was dispatched to a home where a burglary had just been reported. When the officer arrived the victim informed him that he had heard a side-by-side running outside his home. When he went outside, he told the officer, he saw a man going through is daughter’s vehicle.

He told police that he approached the suspect and that it turned in to “a physical confrontation.” While the two men were wrestling the suspect’s shirts were pulled off and he left them behind as he ran from the scene.

After the suspect fled the victim removed the keys from the side-by-side and called 911. He told the officer that he didn’t think anything had been taken because he stopped the suspect.

According to reports, the officer then ran the license plate for the UTV and it came back “registered to a female who lived up north in Utah.” Further investigation turned up a loaded 22-calibur firearm under the driver side seat – and a Utah ID card in the glove box.

The officer showed the ID to the victim, who said he was “100 percent positive” that the photo of the man pictured on the ID was the same one he had wrestled with. The UTV was impounded as being possibly stolen, the gun was secured as evidence, and the officer was not able to locate the suspect at the time.

So, where does this all tie in to the cabin fire? It all comes back to the ID and the UTV registration.

The ID belonged to Jason Saunders, and the UTV was registered to a woman with the same last name.

A few hours later, the officer from the Fairview Police Department was contacted by the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Department and was informed that a home, owned by Sherril Saunders, was going up in flames – and Jason Saunders was “the suspect in their incident.”

The Fairview officer was later called to the scene of the fire, where Jason had returned. Sheriff’s deputies detained Saunders at the scene. He refused to talk about the burglary in Fairview, and the report says that Saunder’s lawyer told police that he would also not talk about the fire.

During the investigation, officers located a female who said that she had been staying at the cabin with Saunders. The report states that se told officers that “Jason had left (the cabin) early in the morning.” She told them that when he returned “he was upset and said that he was in (a) fight with a male and that he lost his ID and the side by side.”

Saunders was transported to the Sanpete County Jail where he was booked and later charged with transaction of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person (a third degree felony), burglary of a vehicle, and manufacture or possession of burglary tools.

Saunders was released from the Sanpete County Jail on a $4,000 bond. At the time he was released from the Sanpete County Jail Sanders had been charged 19 times with felonies, including failure to appear in court multiple times.

He was re-arrested in Layton, Utah one week after being released from Sanpete County on charges of burglary of a dwelling, theft, failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer, and burglary of a vehicle.

According to Davis County records they are holding him without bail based on his history of residential and vehicle burglaries which they say could lead to enhanced charges.

Court records and accounts from multiple news outlets also show that Saunders was part of a major drug bust back in 2018—charges that included possession of nearly one pound of methamphetamine.

At the time, Saunders had been arrested and called his friend West Fisher to bail him out using drug money he had hidden in his apartment. Police followed Fisher and ended up recovering $29,000 in cash.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!