Security camera footage shows two suspects, believed to be a man and a woman, who Salt Lake City Police say allegedly used Salas’ credit card to rent a room at a Draper hotel.
The suspects are seen in the video taking stolen items from the hotel and loading them into a vehicle, which reportedly appears to be a green Dodge Durango.
It’s a clue that is a year old, but the family of Joe Salas hopes it can still solve his murder.
In June 2021, Salas was last seen walking down the Jordan River walkway at North Temple St. His body was found two days later in the water. He had been stabbed multiple times.
In August 2022, the family was told about the surveillance video, but police never showed the images publicly and the family doesn’t understand why.
“Those two individuals used Joe Salas’ credit card six months after his death,” said the family’s private investigator, Jason Jensen. “We want to know how they’re tied to Joe, how they obtained his card.”
Heather Ramos, Salas’ wife, said, “We want them to do their job. It shouldn’t take this long to even call me back for one. They’re just not doing their job.”
The individuals reportedly rented the room using Salas’ credit card between Oct. 6 and Oct. 12, several months after Salas’ body was found.
The Salt Lake Police Department issued this statement: “Our homicide squad has reviewed the video. The investigation is open and ongoing and detectives continue to do follow up on the case to help ensure we bring forward answers and ultimately justice.”
Jensen said that seeking the public’s help by showing pictures or surveillance video is quite common by law enforcement, saying police departments often release pictures or videos of bank robbers or persons of interest in other crimes.
The spokesperson for the department viewed this case differently, however.
In response, the statement continued, “As this is still an open and active investigation, we cannot discuss the specific details of the investigation. Detectives continually work with the public relations unit to release information when appropriate. It is not always appropriate to release evidence or information as doing so could actually harm an investigation.”
Jensen said law enforcement typically uses social media to get those pictures out to the public. It didn’t happen in Salas’ case.
“To me, it just defies logic,” said Jensen. “This is a murder. It should come out and sooner to the crime, it’s easier to recognize the car or recognize the person.”
Jensen also said the red backpack that Salas was reportedly wearing before he was killed is an important clue in solving the case, and anyone with information on it should contact authorities.
This information is being released to the public in hopes that someone can identify the individuals in the video.