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Mother arrested in connection with homicide of 4-year-old daughter in West Valley City

(Steve Griffin, KSL)


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WEST VALLEY CITY — A mother was arrested Tuesday in connection with the death of her 4-year-old daughter in West Valley City.

Nicole Lester, 29, was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, West Valley police tweeted.

Police received a call about 5 a.m. Tuesday that a woman who lives in the area had knocked on a neighbor's door and reported that she killed her 4-year-old daughter, according to West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku.

Lester also called emergency dispatchers and reported that "she had just murdered her daughter and that she wanted to turn herself in," according to a jail report.

Police responded to 4502 Losee Drive and found the woman sitting on the porch of her home, and she was taken into custody, Vainuku said. Lester was wearing bloody clothing, according to the jail report.

They then found a young child dead in the basement of the woman's home, Vainuku said. The girl's body had multiple wounds, the jail report states. The girl was identified by police as Laney Vos.

Lester's 6-year-old son was asleep on the main floor of the home and is safe, Vainuku said.

Police cleared the scene, secured it and then exited the home, Vainuku added. As of 7:45 a.m., investigators were working to obtain a search warrant for the home.

The home is owned by Lester's mother, and police are hoping to interview her to see if there was anything that led up to Tuesday's events, she said.

The homeowner was not at the house on Tuesday morning, but she returned to the home and took custody of the 6-year-old boy, according to Vainuku.

"It’s hard to even comprehend something like this," Vainuku said. "This is something that’s extremely difficult."

Neighbors say they never saw any signs of abuse and the children appeared to be well cared for.

“I just wish that I had seen some sort of sign so I could’ve called somebody,” Tanya Powell, a neighbor, tearfully told KSL TV’s Dan Rascon. “It’s devastating; she was a beautiful little girl.”

Contributing: Winston Armani, KSL TV; Carter Williams and Lauren Bennett, KSL.com

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