Authorities say murder of Payson man was not random

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PAYSON -- More than a month after the murder of a Payson man, the Utah County Sheriff's Office hasn't made any arrests. But investigators now say Kay Mortensen's murder was not a random crime.

Authorities have not named any suspects, but they have several persons of interest in the case. They say just because they've kept quiet about the investigation doesn't mean they're not working hard on it.

"Since the death of Kay Mortensen, our detectives have been very aggressively investigating this case," says Utah County sheriff's Lt. Yvette Rice. "This act, we believe, is something that was very select, very personal."

Still, investigators don't know who killed the former BYU professor, or why.

On Nov. 16, Mortensen was killed in his Payson home, and his guns were stolen. On Wednesday, Rice explained why Utah County authorities have been so tight-lipped about the investigation.

"That, mostly, has been due to evidence that we've gathered," she said. "We've been concerned that it might compromise the integrity of some of that evidence."

Also Wednesday, investigators revealed they have several persons of interest in the case, some of whom gave inconsistent statements. Authorities plan to interview them again.

They also sent evidence to the Utah State Crime Lab.

"We've gathered DNA evidence and obtained blood samples, blood evidence," Rice said.

Investigators said that evidence takes time to process, and it could be a few more weeks before they get the results.

They said they're aggressively pursuing this case, and they want the public to know they're not in danger.

"We want them to know we are absolutely committed to finding the perpetrators of this crime, and our efforts will not cease until we have solved this crime," Rice said.

Investigators said they talk to Mortensen's family every day.

The family is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone with information can call the Utah County Sheriff's Office tip line at 801-851-4010.


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