Utahn charged with murdering Heber City girlfriend found dead in Oregon

Michael Grant Asman, who was wanted in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend, has been found dead in Oregon.

Michael Grant Asman, who was wanted in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend, has been found dead in Oregon. (Wasatch County Sheriff's Office)

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

HEBER CITY — A Utah man charged with shooting and killing his girlfriend in Heber City has been found dead in Oregon.

The body of Michael Grant Asman, 35, was found in Wallowa State Park near Joseph, Oregon, Monday afternoon, Heber City police announced Tuesday. Detective Joshua Weishar said based on initial information, investigators believe Asman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and had been deceased for about two weeks before his body was discovered. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

His pickup truck was found by a U.S. Forest Service ranger about 12:45 p.m. Monday. Because Asman's vehicle was entered into the national police database, the ranger learned that the pickup truck was wanted in connection with the Utah killing after running the license plate. The ranger then contacted the local sheriff's office. Asman's body was discovered about 45 minutes later approximately 100 yards away from his vehicle.

Weishar said his department sent officers to Oregon on Monday after Asman's body was discovered. Information on whether his body and his truck were found in a secluded area were not immediately available. But Weishar noted that it was in a forest area outside of a small town.

Asman has been on the run for a month since his girlfriend, Julie Ann Burns, 35, was found shot to death inside her Heber City home on July 14. He was charged in 4th District Court with murder, a first-degree felony, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Asman is believed to have shot Burns in the head while her two children were in the house, and then led them out of the house while they covered their eyes, according to police. He called his sister to pick up the children. But because she believed her brother was acting "weird," the sister called police and had officers perform a welfare check on Burns. When officers went to the house, no one answered.

The next day, a co-worker of Burns went to her house when she did not show up for work, and "opened the door and noticed what she believed to be blood on the kitchen floor," according to charging documents.

Police were called back to the home to conduct a second welfare check. But this time, knowing that someone might be injured, officers had probable cause to enter the residence, the charges state. They found Burns' body on the kitchen floor with a gunshot wound to her head.

Surveillance photos from a Maverik store in Heber City, 435 N. Main, showed him making a purchase at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, which police say was after Burns was shot. Weishar said Tuesday that Asman was found in Oregon wearing the same clothing as in the surveillance photos.

At the time of Burns' death, Asman was already facing charges of aggravated assault and assault accusing him of attacking her in June. The court filed a protective order for Burns against Asman following his arrest and the filing of charges. He was also ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitor which police say he cut off, allegedly after killing Burns.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News


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