Body of Utah Tourist Found in Gritty Vegas Neighborhood

Body of Utah Tourist Found in Gritty Vegas Neighborhood

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Police were looking Wednesday for a man seen with a Utah tourist who left a Las Vegas Strip hotel several hours before her beaten body was found in a downtown alley.

Simone Hirst, 39, of Park City, Utah, had been staying with her boyfriend at the upscale Bellagio hotel-casino, where she was seen leaving early Monday after a night on the town, Las Vegas police Lt. Tom Monahan said.

Her body was found about 7:30 a.m. Monday, about 7 miles away, in a neighborhood troubled by crime and drugs. Monahan said she died of a blow to the head.

Hirst's longtime boyfriend is not considered a suspect, and had returned home to Park City, Monahan said Wednesday. He declined to identify the 50-year-old man with whom Monahan said Hirst had a 12-year relationship.

"We're pretty comfortable that he's not responsible," Monahan said. "That's based on videotape we have."

The police lieutenant said detectives were trying to locate a man videotaped speaking with Hirst.

Monahan said police don't have a motive in the slaying, and detectives don't know whether items missing from Hirst's possession were taken before or after her slaying.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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