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Possible blood, bullet hole collected from homicide victim’s apartment

Nic Fitzgerald, KSL TV

Possible blood, bullet hole collected from homicide victim’s apartment

By Pat Reavy, Deseret News | Posted - Dec. 27, 2019 at 11:31 a.m.

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WEST VALLEY CITY — A man found dead inside a truck in a church parking lot was both shot and stabbed, according to newly released court documents.

As of Friday, no arrests had been made in the death of Jesus Vasquez, 31, of West Valley City.

Police were called to the parking lot of a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2835 S. 2855 West, on Dec. 7 just before 6 a.m. But according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 3rd District Court, neighbors actually saw Vasquez and his truck the night before, sometime between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“She explained that she and her husband saw the truck, but believed it was a homeless person waiting for the food bank to open in the morning. The husband ... approached the truck and knocked on the window but go not response from the person inside,” officers wrote in the affidavit about the witnesses who contacted them.

When police arrived, they found Vasquez in the passenger seat of his Nissan Frontier pickup truck.

“Jesus’ pants are down near his knees, and there is mud observed on his back/torso,” the affidavit states. Officers also “observed what appears to be puncture wounds to Jesus’ head and other extremities.”

An autopsy determined that Vasquez had been shot in the stomach and stabbed in the right thigh and forehead, according to the warrant.

West Valley police believe Vasquez was killed at another location and dropped off in the church parking lot.

Detectives interviewed Vasquez’s girlfriend, whom he lived with in their West Valley apartment. She told them that he left in his truck at some point during the night, allegedly to get gas, but “she believed Jesus was leaving to go buy drugs, and that in the past he has used this excuse to leave the house to go purchase drugs,” the affidavit states.

Investigators served a search warrant on Vasquez’s apartment and took several items of potential evidence, including a “portion of sheet rock with suspected bullet hole” and “DNA swabs of suspected red blood substance.”

West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku said Friday that it was not known whether the killing happened in the apartment. She said Vasquez’s girlfriend has been cooperating with police and is not considered a suspect.

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