The Justice Files: Unsolved murder mystifies family and police

Top Stories

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Gerad Ohlwiler was gunned down by someone who had a grudge.

He was outside a home in Salt Lake City when an argument broke out between the two.

According to a search warrant filed by Salt Lake City police, the homeowner was concerned about the noise and contacted her brother. Another witness heard several gunshots and saw a man leaving the scene.  On the driveway was the body of Ohlwiler who died after he was shot.

“He was a great man with a good heart,” said a family member who did not want to be identified.  “He was always there for us.”

It was April 15, 2019, when police arrived at the home on Wenco Drive in Salt Lake City. 

“We have to take our time, we have to be diligent and very thorough, especially with this weather here,” Detective Jose Perea told reporters who responded to the early morning shooting.

After interviewing witnesses police learned that “two males shooting at each other” according to the search warrant. One witness told police that a “man wearing shorts and a tank top” was near Ohlwiler and he left in a “black truck with a shell.” 

At the time police said it may have been gang-related. Detectives worked through heavy rains. There was a concern some of the evidence may have been washed away. But the search warrant stated that detectives found shell casings, a gun, DNA, and surveillance video.

“They do have a person of interest but they said they needed more evidence before they could move forward in the case,” the family member told ABC4. “He was beaten and shot multiple times I’m not sure what happened.”

To date, the motive behind the shooting remains unknown. Police have not disclosed further information. But a spokesman for Salt Lake police acknowledged there is a person of interest but they do not have enough information to bring charges against the person.

The search warrant disclosed that police found drugs and cash on the body of Ohlwiler. 

Court records show that Ohlwiler is a convicted felon and was restricted from carrying a firearm. But for family members, they saw him as a caring person who watched over his family and his mother.

“It hit her (mom) really hard because he was her youngest son and it is still hard to talk about it with her,” said the family member. “We hope that it is brought to justice and whoever did this or people or one person, whatever it is that they be brought to justice and we can have some sort of closure.”

Anyone with information about Ohlwiler’s murder is urged to contact Salt Lake City police at 801-799-3000.

Click here to download the ABC4 Utah News app for the first alerts on your phone. Sign up for the ABC4 Utah breaking news and daily newsletters.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.