A former South Ogden Police Detective who for years led the investigation into Joyce Yost’s disappearance in August 1985 said he believed Douglas Lovell, the man ultimately charged and convicted of murder was liable to the death penalty for killing Yost, also allegedly played a role in the unresolved disappearance of another woman from Weber County.
During plea negotiations in 1993, Lovell promised to take the police to the spot where he claimed to have killed Yost and left his body. Several weeks of intensive searches at this location near Snowbasin Ski Resort in the summer of 1993 failed to find any trace of Yost’s remains.
“In my mind, that’s why he never took us to where Joyce was,” former South Ogden Police Detective Terry Carpenter said in an interview for the second season of the podcast series. survey from KSL “Cold”. âShe’s somewhere else and honestly to this day, I believe Sheree Warren is with her.
Sheree Warren was last seen leaving the Utah State Employees Credit Union headquarters in Salt Lake City on October 2, 1985. She had told a colleague at the time that she intended to meet her. ex-husband, Charles Warren, at a nearby car dealership.
Charles and Sheree Warren were separated at the time and shared custody of their 3-year-old son. Sheree Warren was living with his parents in Roy at the time of his disappearance. Roy’s police believe she was murdered but have made no arrests in the case. Sheree Warren’s body has never been found.
Police records obtained by “Cold” reveal that Charles Warren told a detective that he called Sheree Warren at work that afternoon and told him that his plans had changed and he no longer had it. intends to meet with her as previously planned.
When Sheree Warren left her job around 6:30 p.m., she allegedly told a coworker that she was heading to the dealership to meet her ex-husband, contradicting information provided by Charles Warren that he had canceled their scheduled appointment. Sheree Warren did not return to her parents’ house that evening and has not been seen since.
Police in the Las Vegas, Nevada subway found Sheree Warren’s car abandoned behind the Aladdin hotel and casino just over a month later. Police documents show Charles Warren authorized a search of the vehicle, which found no definitive evidence as to Sheree Warren’s whereabouts.
Police records also show that investigators initially considered Charles Warren a suspect, in part because he refused to submit to a polygraph exam.
Police also suspected a man named Cary Hartmann, whom Sheree Warren was dating before his disappearance.
The focus on Hartmann intensified in the spring of 1987 after an anonymous caller phoned Roy’s police and reported finding the body of a woman near the Causey Dam. A witness told police he saw Hartmann hunting in the mountains south of Causey the weekend after Sheree Warren went missing. The remains reported by the anonymous caller were never found.
Hartmann has repeatedly denied knowing about Warren’s fate in various interviews with police over the past three decades. Hartmann was serving much of that time a prison sentence linked to his convictions for a series of rapes in 1986.
The Utah Pardons and Parole Board released Hartmann from detention in 2020. Roy’s police confirmed to “Cold” that Hartmann and Charles Warren remain persons of interest in their ongoing investigation into the cold affair.
Potential contacts between Lovell and Warren
Lovell is currently not a key figure in the Roy Police investigation into the Sheree Warren case, but “Cold” review of the Joyce Yost and Sheree Warren cases has revealed tangential links between Lovell and Warren. .
Lovell’s then-1985 wife Rhonda Buttars was working for the Utah Department of Social Services when Joyce Yost and Sheree Warren went missing. At a court hearing in 1993, she testified that she and Lovell did their banking “beyond” Joyce Yost’s apartment on 40th Street in South Ogden.
The Utah State Employees Credit Union in 1985 operated a branch at the corner of Harrison Boulevard and 42nd Street in Ogden, just south of Weber State University. 40th Street becomes 42nd Street as you approach Harrison Boulevard, a short distance east of Yost’s apartment.
Sheree Warren had worked as a cashier at this branch of the credit union in the months before her disappearance.
At the same 1993 hearing in which Rhonda Buttars testified, a man named Tom Peters, whom Lovell had attempted to hire as a hitman, described meeting Lovell in the summer of 1985 near the same branch of the credit union where Warren was working then. Peters said Lovell was at the time trying to cash a workers’ compensation check in order to pay him off. Lovell eventually paid Peters $ 800, but Peters said he used the money to buy heroin and gamble. He did not attempt to kill Yost, as Lovell had requested.
Lovell was sentenced to death in 1993 after admitting to killing Yost himself to prevent him from testifying against him in a sexual assault case. He spoke to a reporter in the weeks following the sentencing hearing. An Associated Press article published following that interview said police at the time were interested in questioning Lovell about Sheree Warren. The AP reported that Lovell denied ever having met Warren.
âI wish they’d talked to me before they started pitching my name,â Lovell said in the AP story.
Lovell has refused or ignored several interview requests for “Cold”.
Another important, but previously unreported clue potentially linking Lovell and Warren has emerged from the “cold” examination of the files. This is a tip provided to South Ogden Police months before prosecutors charged Lovell with the murder of Joyce Yost.
The tip came from an informant named William Babbel, who in 1991 was housed with Lovell in the Special Services dorm at Utah State Prison. Babbel and Lovell were also colleagues at Utah Correctional Industries, in the UCI sign shop. Lovell had enlisted Babbel’s help drafting documents for an appeal of his conviction in the Joyce Yost sexual assault case.
Babbel would later tell police that Lovell described a surprise encounter he had with South Ogden Police Sgt. Terry Carpenter a few months earlier, on May 20, 1991. Carpenter had gone to jail to confront Lovell with incriminating information he had recently received from Rhonda Buttars, who had divorced Lovell a year earlier.
As a result of that meeting, Babbel said, Lovell returned to the UCI sign store and said, “I thought they were here to ask me about Sheree Warren.”
Babbel described Sheree Warren’s alleged comment of Lovell in a December 19, 1991 interview with Terry Carpenter, which was audio recorded. “Cold” obtained a copy of this recording through an open recording request.
“I think [Lovell] knows that, âBabbel said in the recording. “And he’s like ‘well, they’re never gonna stick me with that because Cary Hartmann is the one who’ll end up eating that one.’ ‘
Babbel died in 2008. Cary Hartmann refused an interview request, referring questions to his lawyer. Hartmann’s attorney did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Listen to the full episode
Season 2 of the “Cold” podcast will take you into the investigation of the bodyless homicide triggered by Yost’s disappearance. Never-released audio tapes will let you hear Yost, in his own voice, describe the events leading up to his death.
You will learn why the police suspected a man, Douglas Lovell, but were unable to arrest him at the time. And you will see how some people and institutions have given – and continue to give – Lovell every chance to escape the ultimate punishment.
Hear Joyce Yost’s voice for the first time in COLD Podcast Season 2, available to listen to for free on Amazon Music.
Free resources and help against sexual abuse are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at RAINN.org. You can also call 800-856-HOPE (4673).