SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Nancy Merrell remembered talking on the phone with her sister one day in April, seven years ago.

It was the last time they spoke. 

A few days later Merrell learned Yavette Carter was found murdered in a home near Malad, Idaho.  Her husband, Trent Christensen, and his father, Brent Christensen, were also found dead inside the home near Holbrook.

Yavette and Trent’s two children were found alive.  A man who arrived at the home to retrieve his dog saw the 2-year-old girl sitting on the front steps.  Authorities said the man entered the home and found the trio dead. Yavette was found cradling her infant.

“When we arrived (from Montana the next day) the baby still had her mother’s blood on its head,” said Merrell.  “It tells me my sister’s final act was to save her baby, to protect her.”

Back in 2013,  the Idaho Oneida County sheriff said they found a marijuana growing operation in the basement of the house.  They also rounded up 60 pitbulls believed to be part of a dog fighting ring.

“How that’s all going to come together we don’t really know yet,” Sheriff Jeff Semrad told reporters in 2013.  “You could say it might be drug-related.  It might be dog fighting-related, it may not.”

Merrell doesn’t believe it had anything to do with a motive for the triple murders.

“I do not believe it was the marijuana simply because they left $95,000 worth of marijuana and all of the dogs on the property,” Merrell said.

Two years later, Severo Luera of Garland pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting and was sentenced to prison.

The Idaho Statesman article said Luera was with five other suspects at the home.

Crystal Douglas who operates an East Idaho cold case website said Luera wasn’t the killer.

“His role was, he was present,” said Douglas.  “He drove down there with others.  He was present but he did not pull the trigger.”

According to Idaho authorities who testified in Luera’s case, the Garland suspect knew the two men who pulled the trigger.  Apparently they were from Northern Utah.

“Brigham City and Tremonton are the main two that I’ve heard,” said Merrell. 

She also said Logan and Cache County were also areas of interest by authorities.  She said California was also a possibility of where the suspects may have come from.  But why no one besides Luera was arrested still baffles Merrell.

“They have something,” said Merrell.  “Why haven’t there been more arrests made?  I cannot fathom why no more arrests have been made.”

Douglas has provided tip lines on her website, East Idaho cold cases.

“I think the main thing is people being afraid to come forward with more information,” Douglas said. “People have to know that they can be anonymous.  They can help fill in some of the gaps.”

Merrell said the new sheriff is keeping them out of the loop and won’t answer their questions.

She wants to remind them and the public that her sister, husband and his father didn’t deserve this.

“No matter what was going on in that house none of the victims deserved what happened to them,” said Merrell.  “And it’s going to take the communities getting involved, caring enough about the victims to get police to continue to investigate this.”

As for the children who survived, Merrell said they were adopted by another sister.  They are around 9 and 7 years old.

“They’re awesome, they’re amazing,” Merrell said.  “They’re the bright light in all of this.

The Oneida County sheriff in Idaho never returned repeated calls from ABC4. The East Idaho cold case website lists a tip line for anyone with information at 1-844-847-4040.