Thousands of other Utah residents took part in an eight-day search for Destiny, along with police officers and FBI agents. People put up missing posters and the police inspected local houses, including many of Destiny’s neighbors’ basements. Relatives of Elizabeth Smart, who’d been abducted four years earlier but had survived, also supported the search for Destiny, according to the Deseret News.
The hunt ended on the morning of July 24, 2006, when Destiny’s body was found inside a plastic storage bin in a neighbor’s basement, a stone’s throw from the Nortons’ home. Local residents said that the suspect, Craig Gregerson, 20, had lived there for around 18 months. Jeannie Hill, a spokesperson for the bereaved family, stated that they were not familiar with Gregerson. He was described as something of a hermit, whose wife sometimes stayed with him.
Gregerson was charged with murder and kidnapping. He had seen Destiny outside his residence, according to a probable cause statement. The 20-year-old had then opened his back gate and coaxed her to come into his property. She’d reportedly begun shrieking, so Gregerson had covered her mouth with his hand and applied pressure to her body. As a result, she’d stopped moving, and he’d then placed her lifeless body upon the floor.