Deputies make arrests in former BYU professor's murder

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PROVO -- Utah County authorities have arrested the son and daughter-in-law of former BYU professor Kay Mortensen in connection with his murder eight months ago.

Police named Mortensen's son, Roger Mortensen, 48, and his wife, Pamela, 34, as persons of interest in this case early on. Now both are accused of his murder. Shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday, Roger and Pamela Mortensen were booked into the Utah County Jail on charges of murder and obstruction of justice.

Both are being held on $500,000 bail. Defense attorney Greg Skordas tells the Salt Lake Tribune they didn't do it.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff's Office says, "This has been a bit of an unusual case where there's been a lot of suspicion but not to the point where you could make an arrest until now."

The sheriff's office is expected to release more information later Friday about what eventually led to the arrests.

Both Roger and Pamela were present at the Mortensen's home in Payson Canyon on Nov. 16, 2009 when Kay Mortensen was brutally murdered. During a 911 call that night, Roger told a dispatcher that he found his father in a bathtub with his throat slashed.

The couple also told police they were held hostage at the house by men with guns. However, when asked for a description of the men, they couldn't provide one.

Earlier this year, Utah County investigators said 32 guns were believed to have been stolen from the house at the time of the murder. At that time, investigators believed those guns may have been a reason for the killing.

Detectives say Roger and Pamela Mortensen have provided inconsistent statements throughout the investigation. That's one reason they were named persons of interest.


Story compiled with information from Shara Park , Randall Jeppesen and The Associated Press.


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