Man found dead in church parking lot, police seek suspect

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WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A man was found dead in a Latter-day Saint church parking lot. Police are now calling it suspicious.

West Valley City police were dispatched to a Latter-day Saints church parking lot where they found 31-year-old Jesus Vasquez dead – in the passenger seat of his pickup truck.

Vasquez appeared to have died from multiple injuries consistent with what police are calling “homicidal violence.”  

“We don’t know if he drove himself, or if someone drove him,” said Lt. Justin Wyckoff with WVPD. “We don’t know that yet.”

Euribio Hernandez was leaving his friends home Saturday morning when he says he saw Vasquez inside the truck.

“I just thought it was weird cause just like sleeping in the back, but like, probably some homeless guy,” Hernandez said. “But I didn’t think he was dead or anything.”

He said he did not call 9-1-1 and when he learned of the news, he was surprised.

Euribio’s friend, Juan Rhodas, who lives in the home next to the church said he’s lived in the area for seven years and considers it to be a troubled area.

“I didn’t think nothing like that would happen in this neighborhood,” Rhodas said. “There’s always been stuff in this neighborhood that’s happened, but I didn’t think a homicide would happen.”

A woman who lives on the other side of the church is choosing to remain anonymous, but said she’s lived in her home for 25 years and has had no trouble.

“I’ve never really encountered any real problems,” the West Valley woman said. “You know, there’s a little scuffle here and there, but nothing. The church keeps very good watch over their parking lot and grounds.”

She said she’s concerned about what happened near her home, but believes crime is picking up everywhere.

West Valley City police are investigating and say to contact them if you have any information.

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