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SALT LAKE CITY — A 19-year-old man admitted Monday that he murdered a Taylorsville woman in her home and hid her body in a crawl space.
Bryan Steve Quintanilla pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies, in the killing of Margaret Steffey, 59, in the home where she lived alone. After the killing, Quintanilla then took off with her financial cards.
Quintanilla was sentenced to consecutive 25-years-to-life prison terms for the two charges. In exchange for his pleas, one count of aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony, and two counts of unlawful use a financial card, a third-degree felony, were dismissed.
Following her death last April, family members described Steffey as a kind woman with health concerns that had restricted her to a sheltered life.
Quintanilla admitted Monday to beating and strangling Steffey in her home, 3973 W. Blue Meadow Drive (5850 South), on April 10, 2014, then hiding her body in the crawl space, according to the plea filed in 3rd District Court.
Police located Steffey's body April 16 and began tracking her financial cards. They apprehended Quintanilla three days later, just hours before he was to board a flight to El Salvador.
Quintanilla had used Steffey's money to purchase food, alcohol and travel tickets, police said. He spent the days after the woman's death sleeping in his car or in fields in the Taylorsville area.