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SL missing person case turns into murder investigation

(Salt Lake County Jail)


4 photos

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SALT LAKE CITY — A missing person case has now turned into a murder investigation.

KSL has learned that Salt Lake police homicide detectives have been arresting multiple people over the past two weeks in connection with a missing man. Their investigation led to the discovery of a body in Tooele County on Monday night.

A medical examiner on Wednesday afternoon confirmed that the body found in Tooele County is that of the missing man, Jason Nakonechni, 38.

Four people had been arrested as of Wednesday, and police anticipated the arrests of at least one more person.

Marilee Joann Borden, 43, Corey Lee Petersen, 53, and Michael Shane Snyder, 40, were arrested individually over the past two weeks and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.

All three — Borden, Petersen, and Snyder — were charged last week in 3rd District Court with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony. Bail was set at $1 million each.

Allison Wells, 37, was arrested Tuesday night for investigation of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. According to a Salt Lake County Jail report, Wells helped Borden lure the victim to a motel.

On Sept. 3, Borden texted the victim and arranged to meet him at that Salt Lake motel "for the purpose of luring him there to be assaulted and kidnapped by at least three other (people)," another booking report states.

"That night the hotel received several complaints from other guests regarding a loud fight in the room," according to charging documents.

Snyder and two others attacked Nakonechni as soon as he walked in the motel room, the charges state. A witness observed a "brutal assault" on the male victim "resulting in major blood loss and the loss of several teeth," according to the report.

"This same witness told police the victim was 'trying to escape' but was not allowed to," the report states.

At one point, Nakonechni nearly escaped but was "pulled back into the room" where the assault continued.

By 1 a.m. on Sept. 4, all of the occupants from the room were gone, police say. The group decided to go to Petersen's residence to "get it straightened out," according to the charges.

The victim was then taken from the Salt Lake motel to an undisclosed location in West Valley City where the assault continued and the man was robbed of many of his personal belongings, including his car and his dog, said Salt Lake Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer.

A witness told investigators Nakonechni was seen at Petersen's house "with obvious injuries sitting on a chair in the kitchen," the charges state. Petersen allegedly claimed that Nakonechni owed him money. Another witness said Nakonechni told Petersen "that he didn't steal anything," according to court documents.

Police detectives believe the dispute dated as far back as May.

Police believe after the group left the house in West Valley City, the man was then taken to an undisclosed location in Tooele County and killed, Shearer said.

"The victim was taken to a remote location and killed by Wells' boyfriend," a booking report states.

On Sept. 5, police found Nakonechni's abandoned vehicle on fire. But he wasn't reported missing until Sept. 18 when Nakonechni's mother called police.

At the time of her arrest on Nov. 8, Borden also had an outstanding warrant for a drug possession charge from 2015, according court documents.

Petersen has a lengthy criminal history, court records show.

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Pat Reavy

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