The following is a news release from the Idaho Falls Police Department.
IDAHO FALLS — On Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, at 6:51 a.m., 16-year-old Matthew “Jed” Hall was reported missing. Jed had left home in the early hours of the morning with camping equipment and other items in a 2009 Nissan Versa. Jed left a note behind indicating that he may attempt suicide. A journal was also found with plans to run away from home. Over the last 4 years, investigators have continued to search for Jed.
On Sunday, May 1, 2022, the vehicle Jed left home in was recovered from the Snake River in Idaho Falls by a specialty underwater sonar search and recovery dive team, Adventures with Purpose, in cooperation with the Idaho Falls Police Department. Human remains were recovered from the vehicle. On May 4, 2022, those remains were positively identified as those of Jed Hall.
On the morning of Jan. 22, 2018, the Idaho Falls Police Department obtained location data for Jed’s cellphone which showed that the phone either died or was turned off at 6:48 a.m. Its last “pinged” location showed the phone .43 miles southeast of the Verizon tower located at 1490 Lindsey Boulevard which includes a section of the Snake River, Highway 20 and is in close proximity of Interstate 15.
Over the past four years the Idaho Falls Police Department has investigated many possibilities and tips regarding this case, including that Jed may have still been alive or deceased in another location. Investigators have traveled to other states following tips and reported possible sightings, searched remote areas of the region, and participated in numerous local and national media outreach efforts attempting to garner additional information.
IFPD investigators also recognized early on that it was possible that Jed and his vehicle may have entered the Snake River. At least three searches were conducted specifically for this case utilizing local law enforcement resources from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team. The team’s sonar and underwater search equipment were utilized along with resources from partner agencies and entities to search the area around the forebay and upstream in the sections of river that fell within the “ping” data. Unfortunately, no sign of Jed or his vehicle was located.
Bonneville County Sheriff Sam Hulse appreciates the excellent work by Adventures with Purpose to bring closure to this case. BCSO continually evaluates operations to make improvements and will evaluate the search operations tied to this case. The Sheriff’s Office regrets that Jed or the vehicle were not located in previous efforts. On behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, we offer our empathy to the Hall family during this difficult time.
The Idaho Falls Police Department values our partnership with the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office and appreciates their willingness to offer their resources to assist with investigations and public safety incidents in the city limits.
In the last part of April, Adventures with Purpose and Profiling Evil, reached out to the Idaho Falls Police Department regarding the search for Jed Hall after learning about the case from their viewers, previous media stories, and IFPD releases regarding Jed’s disappearance. IFPD investigators met the Adventures with Purpose team and Amy and Allan Hall at the Snake River Boat Launch near the 1400 block of River Parkway on the morning of May 1, 2022.
Within a short time of initiating their search, Adventures with a Purpose located what was ultimately determined to be the Nissan Versa approximately 75 yards downstream from the boat ramp, 50 feet from the shore, in an area where the water is approximately 8 feet deep. A local towing company responded and assisted with the recovery of the vehicle which was taken to a secure location for processing.
The Bonneville County Coroner’s Office, local experts, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children assisted with the expeditious positive identification of the remains.
The Idaho Falls Police Department would like to offer our gratitude to the team from Adventures with Purpose for applying their expertise and resources to the search for Jed. The service they provide across the country to bring closure to cases and find answers for loved ones is admirable, and we appreciate the spirit of partnership and compassion they employed when approaching this search.
“In any missing person case, our sincere hope is to find the person alive and well,” said Bryce Johnson, Chief of the Idaho Falls Police Department. “While this is not the outcome we had hoped for we appreciate all those who have assisted in this investigation and the effort to provide answers to Jed’s family and loved ones. Our hearts are with the Hall family and all those who knew and loved Jed at this time.”
The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached by calling (800) 273-8255 or texting (208) 398-4357. The Nationwide Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached by calling 800-273-8255.