Friends: Matt Holt ‘a friend to everyone’


SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – There is shock and sadness for friends of Matt Holt.

Holt’s body was found Easter Sunday near the Jordan River walkway in South Salt Lake.  Police said Holt died from a gunshot and his body was found hanging out of the car.

Gary Keller, a spokesman for the police department said they are still looking for suspects and need any information from the public that could lead to an arrest.

The walking trail in question is in an isolated area behind several businesses and police aren’t sure what Holt was doing there.

Holt is well known by those in the hair salon business.  He is a former child psychologist but friends said he changed careers more than twenty years ago.

Holt worked alongside Megan Oviatt as her manager and receptionist.

“He’s an uncle to my little boy,” said Oviatt. “He’s a friend to everyone.”

She said anyone who ever came into contact with Holt became his friend.  She said he was the kindest man she had ever come to know and had no enemies.

“He was one of the most kindest, gentle soul,” Oviatt said.  “He would give you the shirt off of his back. And Matt didn’t even have an enemy.”

Police said he was shot in his car.  He was found hanging outside of the driver’s side door.
Those working in the area saw the commotion Sunday afternoon.

“We always heard rumors this was a real bad trail of stuff happening here before,” said Jose Verdugo who works across the street from where the body was found. “All we seen was the car parked and cops were surrounding it. I believe they found the gentleman in the car.”

Police don’t know or aren’t saying why Holt was there.  But they are seeking surveillance video of the area that may shed light on what happened.
Meanwhile his friends at Draper’s Image Studios are also waiting for answers.

“It really is tragic,” said Robert Moody, a hair stylist at Image Studios.  “And to have the unanswered, no answers leaves a lot to wonder.”

At some point, police hope to have those answers.
But for now his friends in the hair business know they’ll miss his cheerful voice whenever he came to work.

“Its a little surreal,” said Oviatt.  “I can’t believe this happened to my best friend.  He would want everyone to be happy that he’s in a better place.  I never dreamed this would happen to someone I loved.”

Holt’s funeral is scheduled for this Friday according to his obituary.

Anyone with information about Holt’s murder are urged to contact South Salt Lake police at 801-840-4000

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