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Courtesy of Find Jesse - Missing Veteran Facebook Page

Missing veteran wanted by Utah authorities for allegedly retaliating against a victim

By Lauren Bennett, | Posted - Oct 9th, 2019 @ 7:55pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A veteran reported missing out of Arizona in August is now wanted by Orem police for a crime he allegedly committed months before he went missing.

Jesse Franklyn Conger, 37, was charged in 4th District Court on July 15 with retaliating against a witness, victim or informant, for an incident that happened in April, court documents show.

Conger was reportedly last seen Aug. 14 leaving a Scottsdale, Arizona, apartment without his phone, wallet, I.D. and service dog.

Court documents show Conger was scheduled to appear in court in Utah two weeks after he went missing, on Aug. 29.

A warrant for Conger’s arrest was filed in 4th District Court on Sept. 10 and his bail was set for $10,000.

It is unclear if he resided in the Arizona apartment at the time he disappeared. Utah court documents list Conger’s most recent address as an Orem apartment.

According to an affidavit, Conger has diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder.

He served as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan and Iraq, his twin sister, Patricia Conger, told St. George News last month.

A probable cause statement detailed Conger’s history of alleged abuse toward a woman, who told police Conger had threatened to kill himself and her.

On April 19, the woman called Orem police and reported she was afraid of Conger, who had been drinking heavily and had access to multiple firearms, the police affidavit stated.

The woman did not report a crime that night but later requested a temporary protective order “citing a long history of abuse and threats,” from Conger, the police affidavit stated.

Texts from Conger to the woman corroborated her claims that he had threatened to kill her, police said in the affidavit.

On May 29, Conger complained to police that the woman had assaulted him on April 19 by throwing a water bottle at his head because she could not find supplies she needed for work, the affidavit stated.

Police note in the affidavit that on April 19, officers tried to talk to Conger about the incident and he “refused to come out of his apartment, stating that he was exercising his Fifth Amendment right.”

Conger told police that the woman was angry with him because he had hidden the work equipment, according to the affidavit.

He then admitted he knew the woman needed the work equipment and had “acted maliciously because she had called police ‘for no reason,’” the affidavit stated.

On June 13, police interviewed the woman about Conger’s complaint and she told officers he had thrown the water bottle first at her, she had thrown it back and then he told her she wouldn’t be able to work that day without her equipment as “punishment for calling police.”

Because the woman was unable to work that day, she lost more than $1,000 in commissions income, according to the affidavit. Police corroborated her lost income figure after she provided them her paystubs.

The woman’s loss in income constitutes harm perpetrated by Conger onto the woman “as retaliation for instigating an investigation by police,” the affidavit stated. As a result, Conger was charged with the third-degree felony, the affidavit explains.

Conger’s friends and family are still searching for him, according to a Facebook page dedicated to the search.

Orem police did not immediately return a request for comment as of Wednesday night.

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