Two men are in custody after a Utah woman was kidnapped in broad daylight and then killed, authorities say.
The Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake announced the arrest Tuesday of Orlando Tobar, 29, and Jorge Medina Reyes, 21, 10 days after 25-year-old Conzuelo “Nicole” Solorio-Romero was “forcibly taken” from her Kearns home, according to a statement. The pair are facing murder and aggravated kidnapping charges in connection with the case.
Police said surveillance footage showed Solorio-Romero being forced into a 2010 green Toyota around 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 6. Authorities believe she was taken to a West Valley City apartment and then fatally shot; investigators found a substantial amount of blood at the home and evidence that someone had tried to clean up the scene.
“This is a heartbreaking, very tragic incident,” Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said during a press briefing streamed by KSTU-TV. “Our next goal is to continue working our case, making sure that we have all the evidence that we need to prosecute who did this crime.”
Rivera said a “priority” for investigators is also to find Solorio-Romero’s body, which has not yet been recovered.
Investigators believe her body was transported from the West Valley City home to a “secondary location” using a white pickup truck with a snow plow on the front. That vehicle has already been recovered, but authorities are still trying to piece together where the body was taken from there.
“We are not going to give up, we are going to continue to look for Nicole,” Rivera said.
Rivera said investigators also recovered a firearm at the location where Tobar and Reyes were found that was the same caliber as a bullet recovered from the West Valley City home.
During interviews with authorities, Tobar allegedly admitted that he and Medina picked up Solorio-Romero but claimed that she “came with them willingly,” according to court documents obtained by local station KTVX. Medina denied any involvement in the case.
Authorities believe more people may have been involved in the crime and said additional arrests could be possible.
“Two people can’t commit this type of crime on their own,” Rivera said.
While authorities are not aware of any other women who have been taken in the area, Rivera said investigators are not able to rule out that possibility.
“The way that the violence occurred in this case would make one think that this is not their first rodeo,” she said.
She declined to provide any additional details about the case, including the alleged motive, to protect the integrity of the investigation.
As the probe continues, the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake is partnering with the U.S. Marshals Office, the FBI, West Valley City Police Department and Homeland Security.
Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact investigators.
“This is not right. To take a young girl’s life in this way is just wrong,” Rivera said. “It’s wrong for our community and we’re not going to stand for it.”
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