Father remembers murdered woman as vibrant, caring girl

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The father of a Salt Lake City woman found dead in her home Monday is speaking out. Police say her murder is part of a complex case, but right now her father is thinking about his girl and her life, now cut short.

Mark Williams spent Friday planning a day he never thought he'd see: his 19-year-old daughter, Stephanie's, funeral.

Mark Williams admits his daughter Stephanie had a drug habit, but he doesn't believe the motive for her murder was money.
Mark Williams admits his daughter Stephanie had a drug habit, but he doesn't believe the motive for her murder was money.

"Kids are supposed to live longer than you, you know?" Mark said. "I believe no parent would ever expect such a thing."

Detectives found Stephanie's body in her Salt Lake City home Monday afternoon. She had been shot to death the night before, while her mother and sister were in the next room.

Police believe her death is connected to another case -- the murder of a man in West Jordan Sunday night. Officers have arrested a string of suspects they say are involved, including a man Stephanie's friends say was in love with her.

"I have no idea who these people are. I assume that she was involved with them through the addiction of crack cocaine," Mark said.


Though Mark admits Stephanie had a drug habit, he doesn't believe the motive for her murder was money, as the men in custody told police. He thinks there's more to the story.

"I've totally been kicked in the stomach and can fall apart at any moment," Mark said.

He says before Stephanie got involved with drugs, she was a vibrant, caring girl with a big heart, and that's the daughter he will remember.

"Stephanie, I so wish that I could have done anything," Mark said. "I love you."

Police currently have four people in custody in connection with the two murders, but they're still looking for another suspect: Acuaro Arriaga.

If you have any information on this case, you're asked to call the Salt Lake City Police Department at 801-799-3000.

E-mail: jstagg@ksl.com


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