Man ordered to stand trial in murder of mother, son from Orem who disappeared in 2015

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Man charged in 2015 Orem murders_77431215

UPDATE: Friday, after a week long preliminary hearing, Fourth District Judge Robert Lunnen determined there was enough evidence to move forward with the case of Christopher Poulson, 28, who was charged in the deaths of his girlfriend and her young son. 

Poulson agreed to be arraigned Friday while in court and entered not guilty pleas in all five of the charges. 

Poulson now faces trial on the two first-degree felony charges of capitol murder, one second-degree felony obstruction of justice, and two third-degree felony charges of desecration of a human body.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled November 6 at 1:30 p.m. in American Fork.


Update: 11/8/2017 Poulson has been extradited back to Utah. 


Previous story:

OREM, Utah (ABC4 Utah) –  A Smithfield man has been charged with the murder of a mother and her son.

Emily Almiron and her son Gabriel went missing in September 2015.  Their bodies have never been found.

Monday, a district court judge unsealed the charging documents against Christopher Richard Poulson, 28.  He was charged with two counts of aggravated murder and obstruction of justice.

Utah County Attorney Jeffrey Buhman confirmed he was arrested in Hawaii over the week-end and will be extradited to Utah to face charges.

On September 8, Orem police claim Poulson was at Almiron’s home.  They two were living together.

According to charging documents the next morning, a GPS trace of his phone showed it was in the area of Wolverine Crossing by some dumpsters.  The phone trace also showed it went to Springville to a Walmart.  Police said he purchased a shovel, work gloves and other goods that morning.  

The court document showed Poulson turned off his phone for three hours and when it was turned back on it was “in the more rural area of Payson,” the document said.

The next day, Poulson was with a friend.  During a police interview, the friend said Poulson was driving Emily’s vehicle, a red Toyota Prius.  The charging document said the friend was allowed to drive it.

The documents claimed that on September 11, Poulson “Googled” a location in St. George.  Police obtained phone records and they claimed both Almiron and Poulson’s phones ended up in St. George September 11.  Court documents showed that both phones returned to Orem on that same day.

The charging document also claimed Poulson used an alias possibly “Richard Christopher Olsen” to board a shuttle whose driver recalled dropping the person off at a TRAX station in Orem.  Once again, police claimed Poulson’s phone showed it leaving the TRAX station and to his apartment nearby.

Her mother told police she had not heard from Emily for a few days but had received a text message on September 10.  The text message was about “Emily not needing help with child care that night,” according to the charging document. 

Police interviewed friends and work associates but no one had seen her.

Almiron was about to graduate from the Utah College of Massage Therapy but had missed several days.  According to the probable cause statement she was a few weeks from graduation.  “Law enforcement was told that if Emily missed more than 5 days of class she would have to retake the program,” the court document said. 

Police said Almiron’s phone was used several times to conduct internet searches after she had gone missing.

Police interviewed Poulson who allegedly told police “he broke up with Emily because he found some of her drug paraphernalia in their apartment and could not tolerate that,” according to the documents filed with the court.

Police said Poulson claimed Emily returned Friday, September 11 to retrieve other items from the apartment.  

Police examined Poulson’s phone information and claimed he was making drug transactions “despite his claim that he had broken up with Emily based on finding drug paraphernalia in their apartment.”

He told police “she seemed fine” when she left and told him she would be back a few days later to get her belongings.

He claimed Almiron took her car and denied using it when he picked up his friend.  That friend claimed Poulson allowed him to drive the vehicle.

A roommate claimed he was not there when Emily went missing.  But he told police he remembered a hammer went missing about that time.  The roommate claimed he asked Poulson about Emily and said “they were not coming back and would no longer talk about it,” the charging documents claimed. The roommate also claimed there was rug cleaning equipment in the home after Almitron disappeared.

Police later learned Poulson owned a silver Mustang but had not told detectives about it.  He sold it for $1200, $200 less than book value.  The person who bought it identified Poulson as the seller.

The buyer said he drove Poulson back to a location near where the estranged coupled lived in Orem.

Police processed the vehicle and “suspicious fluids were found” in the trunk area, according to court documents. 

Police again interviewed Poulson who said he kicked her out for drug use.  He also claimed Almiron returned September 11.  Police later learned he had pawned Almiron’s property and he continued to maintain he had given her $400.

In 2016, a FBI Evidence Team went to Poulson and Almiron’s home and found “some suspicious spots” on the carpet.  The FBI took that material to analyze.

FBI attempted to talk with Poulson in August 2017 but “he was too busy but would call them back to set up a time,” the court documents said.

Police said Poulson never called back.   But the agents did meet with him later in Logan where he worked and was given his Miranda Rights.  According to the charging documents, Poulson could not explain why the phones were in St. George.  Police and agents asked him several other questions about the evidence but Poulson said he couldn’t explain the items.

FBI later talked with a friend of Poulson.  The co-worker claimed during text messages that “(he) had killed someone” and explained that “it was a misunderstanding” and was working with the police.

It was through that friend that the FBI learned he had gone to Hawaii. 

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