SOUTH JORDAN — Police believe a murder suspect found dead in a construction area days after his alleged crime was shot with his own gun then passed out in the snow while intoxicated and died.
The body of Joshua Perez-Garcia, 26, of Kearns, was found in a field near 11000 South and 6200 West on the morning of Dec. 2 by construction workers returning to work for the first time after the Thanksgiving weekend.
South Jordan police had been looking for Perez-Garcia since Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 28, after they say he opened fire inside a house party near the South Jordan Parkway and the Mountain View Corridor. Efrain Castro, 23, of West Jordan, was shot eight to 12 times and died two weeks later. Police believe Perez-Garcia had an ongoing dispute with Castro.
On Tuesday, police announced that an autopsy by the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Perez-Garcia died from a gunshot wound to the top of his left forearm.
“Investigators believe Joshua was shot with his own gun during a struggle at the time of the shooting,” South Jordan police stated, while also noting there are no outstanding suspects in the investigation.
After fleeing the scene, Perez-Garcia’s vehicle got stuck near the residential construction site where his body was found. South Jordan Police Lt. Matt Pennington said investigators can only speculate what happened next, but believe Perez-Garcia got out of his car after it became stuck, and “intoxication and exposure to the elements” became “significant contributing factors” to his death.
Pennington said investigators believe he was heavily bleeding based on the amount of blood found in the car.
South Jordan police are working with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office to complete a final review of its investigation.