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17-year-old arrested in connection with death of Toquerville woman

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TOQUERVILLE, Washington County — A 17-year-old boy was arrested in Springdale on Wednesday in connection with the killing of a Toquerville woman and the burglary of several weapons, police said.

Neighbors say the teenager lives just down the street from the slain woman.

The teen's name was not immediately released by police, who arrested him about 12:15 p.m. Firearms reported stolen from a burglary at another house in Toquerville were also recovered, according to police.

A vehicle that belonged to the slain woman was later found hidden and burned near Springdale. Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher said the person of interest investigators were looking for was found walking with an "associate" when he was arrested.

The incident began just after midnight when deputies responded to a report of a residential burglary in Toquerville where guns and other items were stolen, Pulsipher said.

While looking for suspects in that case, detectives received a tip that the 17-year-old was seen at a gas station in Washington City, and they were given a description of a possible vehicle and a license plate number, he said.

Investigators traced the owner of the vehicle to the woman's home, also in Toquerville about a block away from the burglary, where she was found dead inside from a gunshot wound, Pulsipher said.

Neighbors said the teen lived outside of his parents' home in a camp trailer. His arrest wasn't a surprise to some.

"I've seen the sheriffs over here many times," said neighbor Jimmy Scarfo. "It doesn't surprise me now that that happened and it was him."

The name of the woman was not released pending notification of family members.

"It's just a shame. Things like this don't happen in Toquerville. It just doesn't happen," Scarfo said.

He moved to the town a few years ago, about the same time as the woman who was killed. He said she mostly kept to herself.

"From what I have seen of her, she is a really pleasant lady — real pleasant," Scarfo said.

"We kind of talked together, and through the years that I have known her, she has been really nice," added neighbor Bob Olsen.

Pulsipher said the investigation was ongoing Wednesday and he did not know if there would be any additional arrests or if the associate the juvenile was walking with was also considered a person of interest.

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