Man extradited from Mexico, charged with Utah murders dating back to 2006


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – On the evening of Jan. 6, convicted felon Juan Antonio Arreola-Murillo was transported from Mexico into Salt Lake County Jail after having been charged with three counts of aggravated murder, one count of aggravated robbery, and two counts of aggravated burglary. 

Arreola-Murillo’s first offenses occurred on Feb. 9, 2006, when he strangled Sonia Mejia in her apartment at 1167 West Clubhouse Drive, killing both her and her unborn fetus. 

A neighbor reported she had witnessed an unfamiliar man standing outside of Mejia’s doorway and chatting with her around 11:30 a.m before he grabbed her by her throat, hit her on the side of the head, and entered her apartment, kicking the door shut behind him. 

Mejia was found dead by her husband when he arrived home from work at around 6 p.m. Both Mejia’s car and the jewelry she had been wearing were reported missing upon her husband’s examination. 

Arreola-Murillo’s second crime spree took place exactly two years later on Feb. 9, 2008, when he strangled Damiana Castillo to death inside of her home at 4000 South Redwood Road. 

Both Castillo’s purse and jewelry box had been noticeably disturbed. 

It wasn’t until 2016 that the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) reported that   Arreola-Murillo’s fingerprints matched those taken from the scene of Mejia’s and Castillo’s homicides. 

Arreola-Murillo was deported to Mexico in Oct. of 2008 and has remained there since, only returning to the United States upon his imprisonment. 

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