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SANTAQUIN — Criminal charges have been filed against a Santaquin man who allegedly attempted to hire a hit man.
But investigators say the person whom the man wanted dead was himself.
Taylor Eric Bedolla, 22, is charged in 4th District Court with criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.
The odd murder-for-hire investigation began in October when an officer with the Salem Police Department responded to a post on the app Whisper with the title, "Need Help 19F."
"From my experience, 19F would indicate the individual who had made this post was a 19-year-old female. I suspected that this individual was either looking to purchase illegal drugs or to sell illegal drugs," the officer wrote in a search warrant affidavit.
But when the officer responded to the message, he got a much different reply.
"I asked the individual what she needed help with. The individual then responded by stating, 'Kill my ex-fiancé. He’s trying to get custody of our daughter,'" the warrant states.
"For several days, the officer and (Bedolla) sent messages back and forth working out the details of the 'murder,'" charging documents state.
Bedolla, still posing as his ex-fiance, offered the officer $5,000 to carry out the hit, according to the affidavit.
"Believing that he was actually speaking to the ex-girlfriend and genuinely concerned for (Bedolla's) safety, the officer contacted (Bedolla) at his … residence and explained to him what he believed was going on and the nature of the investigation," the charges state.
But as the officer got further into the investigation, he began to suspect that Bedolla was actually the one who had solicited the officer, according to charging documents. The officer reviewed surveillance video of the ex-girlfriend at work.
"As I viewed the surveillance video footage, however, I found that (she) was not the one sending the messages," the officer wrote in the warrant.
On Nov. 20, the officer confronted Bedolla about his suspicions.
"During that interview, (Bedolla) admitted that he had created the Whisper account, posed as his ex-girlfriend, and solicited the murder. (He) explained that he was depressed at the time, wanted to die, but couldn't do it himself. He further explained that he posed as his ex-girlfriend because he believed that someone would take a woman, under the circumstances he’d described, more seriously and be more inclined to follow through with the solicitation," the charges state.
Bedolla's next court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.