Police Identify Woman Whose Body Was Set on Fire

Police Identify Woman Whose Body Was Set on Fire

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The woman whose body was found in burning rubbish beneath a freeway overpass was identified Tuesday as Kellie Nelson, 23, of Taylorsville.

Salt Lake County Sheriff's spokeswoman Deputy Peggy Faulkner said Nelson lived with her boyfriend, who told investigators she left home for work Sunday morning between 5:15 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.

No one saw her again until firefighters found her body in a pile of burning trash under I-80 near 900 West. Investigators say Nelson probably was slain and her body set ablaze to conceal the crime.

"It was a violent death," Faulkner said "This young woman was identified through dental records."

It is still unclear whether the victim was killed at the scene or elsewhere, Faulkner said.

Nelson's car, a maroon 1991 Nissan Sentra, was found in an apartment complex frequently visited by police a mile or so from the complex she lived in.

Faulkner said Nelson had no criminal record and appears to be a random victim.

An anonymous caller using a pay phone in Salt Lake City called authorities on Monday with information helpful to the investigation, Faulkner said. Investigators are asking that person to call again.

They also hope to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious on westbound I-80 around 7:15 Sunday night.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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