Cold case killer identified and jailed

News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A John Doe murder case is no longer a mystery for authorities.

But the identity of the man behind the February 9th murders still remains a secret.

The cold case involves two murders on the same date, two years apart.  It started a murder in Taylorsville.  Sonia Mejia was found dead in her apartment on February 9, 2006.  Two years later in West Valley, Damiana Castillo was found dead in her apartment.  It happened on February 9, 2008.

Police eventually claimed the murders were connected.  But the case went cold and the killer was never found.

Police did find DNA evidence at the scene and in 2010 murder charges are filed against a John Doe.  Police back then said the forensic evidence came from one man.

But eight years after the John Doe murder charges were filed, the Salt Lake district attorney said they now know who the alleged killer is.

“We have identified this person but this person is not in our jurisdiction,” said Sim Gill, the district attorney.

Gill said the person is serving jail time outside of Utah.  But he said the suspect is unaware he’s wanted for murder in Utah.

For now, his identity remains a secret.  Gill said he is concerned if this man accidentally is released from jail he could flee if he has learned what facing him in Utah.

“This is an identified person,” Gill said.  “We know where this person is and we are working to bring that person into our jurisdiction.

Gill said the other jurisdiction has agreed to extradite the suspect to Utah.  But he also said he is unsure when he will be released from that jail.

Family members of the two victims have kept a low profile since this first happened.  But those involved with cold cases said this development can help bring them one step closer to justice.

“Not knowing what happened to their loved one or who killed their loved one eats away at them,” said Karra Porter with the Utah Cold Case Coalition.  “And so you can’t even describe the feeling that they get.”

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