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West Valley man charged with murder in missing man case from 5 years ago

West Valley man charged with murder in missing man case from 5 years ago

(Salt Lake County Jail)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A West Valley man has been charged with brutally killing another man five years ago and using a backhoe to bury his remains 7 feet underground.

Carlos Clemente Trevizo, 56, was charged last week with murder, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; tampering with a witness and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, third-degree felonies.

During the summer of 2012, Trevizo allegedly confronted Jose Ignacio Valdez-Guzman, 31, in an area at 799 S. Chestnut Street in Salt Lake City, which was used by Los Lobos Paving and Construction, a business owned by Trevizo.

A witness told police he heard two to three gunshots and then saw Valdez on the ground. As Valdez attempted to get up, Trevizo pushed him back down, got on top of him and stabbed him in the neck several times before then holding his head back and slitting his throat, according to charging documents.

When Trevizo spotted the witness, he insisted on driving the man home, "just to make sure" he didn't see anything, the charges state. Before letting him out of the car, Trevizo allegedly checked the man's license to verify he was being dropped off at his house.

"Trevizo told (the witness) that what he saw back on the lot is what happened to people who 'steal' or 'snitch,'" according to the charges.

Trevizo said he had been robbed of 2 pounds of meth and $1,800 and that Valdez had set it up, the charges state. He then continued to intimidate the witness by showing him various firearms and telling him he "would watch over" the man's family when he went out of town, police wrote in the charges.

Three weeks later, one of Trevizo's associates told the witness that he helped dispose of Valdez's body by burying it "as deep as the backhoe would go," charging documents state. After filling the hole, the area was allegedly covered with gravel and a semitrailer was parked over the hole.

Valdez was officially reported missing by his family on June 29, 2012. On Nov. 18, 2017, Salt Lake police served a search warrant on the property and located human remains about 7 feet underground, the charges state.

While they were searching, a man came up to officers and asked what was going on, and then left a short time later.

Police, who kept surveillance on Trevizo's home as the search was being conducted, said they saw a man rushing to Trevizo's residence. Trevizo then left his house and "drove around in an erratic evasive manner, through parking lots and gas stations, making numerous turns," the charges state. He went to two banks and filled his car with gas.

Fearing he was about to flee, officers pulled Trevizo over and took him into custody. He was in possession of new clothing and banking documents at the time of his arrest, the charges state.

Detectives interviewing Trevizo told him they heard that he killed Valdez.

"I never shot a man like that …" Trevizo allegedly responded. Investigators noted that they never mentioned whether Valdez had been shot.

Trevizo was being held without bail Tuesday in the Salt Lake County Jail.


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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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