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A Utah man was beaten to death by a group of at least five people in retaliation for him allegedly assaulting his pregnant girlfriend days earlier, according to police.
The Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake say they are using surveillance video to help determine what exactly happened to 41-year-old Fred Valdamar Ortiz of Magna, Utah.
“We do know they all knew each other, so they’re all interconnected,” Sgt. Melody Cutler told local news station KUTV, adding that authorities don't believe it was a "random act.”
Police say the suspects, who ranged from their late teens to their early-20, used wooden blocks and a pole to beat Ortiz to death, according to KSL News. Witnesses said they saw another suspect leaving the scene with a pipe in his hand, though they were unsure whether the pipe was used in the crime, according to KUTV.
Shortly before the beating, the suspects were shopping for a puppy at the home of a local dog breeder. While there, they came into contact with Ortiz's girlfriend. Police have no released the woman’s identity.
It's not clear how the information was relayed to the suspects, but they learned that Ortiz had allegedly hit the pregnant woman and left her with a black eye. While the group was still at the dog breeder’s home, Ortiz passed by on a scooter, according to KUTV. After spotting him, they allegedly began chasing him.
Police have only named two suspects: 18-year-old Xandre Sky Hill and 19-year-old Osyeanna Martinez. According to police, witnesses said Martinez hit Ortiz with her Volkswagen Bug near the end of the chase in the parking lot of a market on 8055 West and 3500 South.
“In the video, detectives observed at 1:36 p.m., [Ortiz] running and [Martinez] chasing him. Martinez throws two boards at [Ortiz’s] back/head and as he gets to the sidewalk near 8000 West and 3567 South, Martinez grabs him and was punching and kicking him,” a police report stated, according to KUTV.
Unified Police stated there were at least five arrests altogether.
Hill and Martinez are in custody at the Salt Lake City jail and being held without bail.
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