MAGNA, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Jason Royter knew who was at his door when he answered it in 2005.
Detectives claimed the person on the other side was there for some reason.
Moments later, Royter was stabbed multiple times in his home. The killer left and nearly 15 years later the case remains unsolved.
“It was surreal, it wasn’t real,” said Niki Price, Royter’s older sister. “It was horrible.”
Price recalled that August day in 2005 after meeting with police this week.
“It seemed like yesterday but it seemed like a million years ago,” she said.
Royter was found inside his home in Magna on August 6, 2005. He’d been beaten and stabbed. Unified Police Detective Ben Pender was one of the first to arrive at the scene that day. He is now UPD’s cold case specialist.
“Whoever went over to Jason’s house that night didn’t necessarily intend to kill Jason,” Pender said. “There’s a possibility that the person went over to confront Jason.”
Pender said things got out of hand with Royter ending up dead.
“Our family has changed forever since that night,” said Price. “I lost one of my best friends. I lost my brother and Deborah and Andy lost their dad.”
From the outset, the family and police pushed to find Royter’s killer, but months turned into years and the case turned cold.
“It’s been real difficult,” said Stephani Perschon, another sister. “Over the years our family has gotten smaller. We’ve lost loved ones and not having Jason around has been like a piece of the puzzle is missing.”
The scene inside Royter’s home showed a violent struggle. Blood was found and tested for DNA. but to date, it hasn’t targeted a suspect.
“That’s why we’re pleading to the public,” said Pender. “We truly believe somebody knows something about this. And unified police is offering a $5,000 reward.”
But Royter’s death has a silver lining. His sisters said they’re much closer and appreciate life better. When they see his son and daughter, they’re reminded he’s still present.
“They’ve grown up into such wonderful people,” said Price. “I see Jason’s heart in Deborah. I see Jason’s eyes in Andy and his nose.”
But after nearly 15years, they still hope for justice.
“We don’t believe anything was intentional,” said Perschon. “We just need answers now. We need closure.”
Anyone with information about Royter’s death should contact Ben Pender with Unified Police–call 385-468-9816 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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