PROVO, Utah (News4Utah)- The Utah County Attorney and Provo Police Department announced a break in a cold case.
Jerad Dale Gourdin, 34, was formally charged with the murder of Belen Perez in 2014. Perez was found strangled to death in her Provo home.
Gourdin is currently an inmate at the Utah State Prison, serving time for stabbing someone with a screwdriver the day after Perez was killed.
At the time, after talking to neighbors, Gourdin had been identified as a person of interest in Perez’s murder, but investigators were unable to find enough evidence linking him to the crime.
A recent, alleged confession to another inmate gave police the evidence they need to charge him for Perez’s murder.
According to a probable cause statement, during Gourdin’s time in prison, he approached another inmate about possible initiation into a gang. Knowing initiation required a killing, Gourdin allegedly asked if a previous incident could satisfy that requirement.
The details of the conversation were shared with law enforcement and investigators determined the information was not publicly available and could have only come from someone with intimate knowledge of the crime.