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Investigators keeping quiet to protect homicide case



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PAYSON -- The Utah County Sheriff's Office is remaining quiet about a Payson homicide investigation nearly two full days after the crime occurred. But deputies do want the public to know they're doing everything they can to catch whoever did this.

The sheriff's office says it's using all its resources, as well as those from surrounding agencies, to crack this case. Investigators have received hundreds of leads and are checking all of them.

Since this happened Monday night, the department says its deputies have already put in thousands of hours. They're calling this a unique case for Utah County, and that's why detectives are withholding information.

"Because some of the evidence and some of the circumstances behind this, it's very sensitive. If we release too much information, it could jeopardize this case, not only for the prosecution, but the investigation of it," says Utah County sheriff's Lt. Darren Gilbert.

"I know that at times that can make the community uneasy and feel unsafe," Gilbert adds. "But again, I can assure you, the sheriff's office can assure you, this is an isolated incident."

Officers say the home invasion occurred around 7:45 Monday night. Initial reports were that two men with guns broke in and slashed homeowner Kay Sherman Mortensen's throat, then tied up two other people who were there at the time.

KSL News spoke to a person who is very close to this investigation. That person told us the two people who were tied up in the house were the son and daughter-in-law of the victim, and that they were bound by zip ties around their wrists.

Detectives say the men then fled the property in a 1991 blue hatchback Ford Escort station wagon.

If you have any information that could lead investigators to the killers, call the Utah County Sheriff's Office at 801-343-4100.

E-mail: ngonzales@ksl.com

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Nicole Gonzales

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