sad woman sitting on floor by window
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
January 3, 2024 ·  4 min read

Wife of man who died the ‘worst possible death’ still trolled 13 years on

In November 2009 John Edward Jones tragically while caving in the hydrothermal “Nutty Putty cave” in Utah. He left behind his wife, Emily Jones Sanchez who has recently revealed that she, and her two children are trolled constantly online.

John was originally exploring the cave with his brother when he got stuck in a narrow tunnel. Rescue teams could not free him as he was too tightly wedged to free him safely. Rescue workers continuously tried to save him, but after 25 hours John died. His body could not be reached and had to be left where it was. NuttyPutty cave was sealed off, and a memorial for John was left.

Emily has spoken out about being trolled over the event, leaving her unable to move on with her life.

Having to move on with her life after losing her husband to the ‘wort possible death’, Emily has spoken out about being trolled. Sharing the last 13 years and the trolling that has followed her to this day. “JOHN WAS BETTER ! RIP JOHN. IF I WAS YOUR WIFE I WOULD HAVE NEVER MOVED ON SOO SOON AND WOULD BE SHARING YOUR STORY. AND POSTING ABOUT YOU,” one user wrote on a post Emily shared on 6 March, 2020.

Another comment reads: “Is that John on ur profile picture? Or is it another man I’m genuinely confused I swear John past away.” A third user said: “Just saw the movie of the story of John. Just wondering, when you die and go to heaven, who will you be with? It breaks my heart how easily people focus on happiness in this earthly life instead of holding on. Waiting to be re-united.”

Read: These 4 Alaskan Children Were Lost In Snow Storm and Found Alive; One Huddled Around 2-Year Old To Keep Him Warm

Emily stood up, defending herself while being trolled

“It’s never been hard to remember John,” she said. “Ever since the very beginning, ever since I first met Donovan, he’s been really comfortable with John continuing to be a part of our family and our lives, especially because of our kids. He just knows that the kids need to remember their dad. He’s good about wanting to stay in touch with the Joneses and he loves the Joneses.

Despite the constant trolling, some stood up for Emily

One user wrote: “I hope she does not read these comments… and I hope none of u have to go through what she has in her life. loosing someone is hard enough and going through a pregnancy on your own having to look at those kids everyday knowing what happened to their dad. having a film made about it.

You may not agree with her choices but you don’t pay her bills feed her kids or mow her grass… John loved her and she loved him. so just maybe he sent someone to help her get through it… it’s not easy to go through life on a good day so give it up… I hope she is every bit happy and blessed and the same to her beautiful children.”

John Edward Jones with his family
Image Credit: Deseret News

In a society that has so much to say, it seems a little unfair to haunt a mother and wife who has lost so much. Being trolled just reminds Emily that her husband is gone. Online bullying is not okay and regardless of the situation, one has only to walk in Emily’s shoes to realize that bullying is never going to bring back her late husband.

Emily has since gone on to remarry

Named John after his father, Emily noticed her son would cling to any man she spent time with. “I was really surprised, but it broke my heart,” she said. “He just really needed a dad. That was really hard, but I still wasn’t ready to date or admit that maybe I would be ready to get married some day.

Emily’s younger brother introduced her to Donovan Sanchez, his roommate at the time. “I had some neat experiences where I had a change of heart,” she said. “Before I thought, ‘I have to be loyal to John. I have to stick it out,’ and then I started to realize that allowing myself to love again didn’t mean loving John any less. Now, more than ever, I realize that it’s really the opposite is true. I feel like I can love John more, and better, because of my relationship with Donovan. I think my capacity to love has increased.”

The couple decided to marry in 2012. “I’m sure it was really hard on the Joneses when I got married, but they welcomed Donovan with open arms,” she said. “It meant the world to me. … They’re a really amazing family.”

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  1. John Jones died in a cave, but his widow emerged from the darkness.” Deseret News. Emiley Morgan. November 25, 2014,
  2. Family who built two-storey house on driveway respond ‘f*** you we’re going to keep it’.” Lad Bible. Shola Lee. November 1, 2022.