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Arrests made in likely murder of missing Kearns woman

Feb 16, 2021, 2:52 PM | Updated: 6:40 pm
Kearns woman murdered kidnapping Nicole Romero...
(Photo: Unified Police)
(Photo: Unified Police)

KEARNS, Utah — Police announced two arrests Tuesday in the disappearance of a missing Kearns woman, saying they now believe she may have been a homicide victim. 

Conzuelo “Nicole” Solorio-Romero disappeared from her Kearns apartment Saturday, Feb. 6, according to Unified Police, who said she was forcibly removed from her home.   Arrest records state Solorio-Romero was taken to a studio apartment in West Valley by two men who were known as “Chaparro and the Venezuelan.”  After speaking with people who were at the apartment at the time of the shooting, police were able to identify “Chaparro” as Orlando Tobar, 29, and “The Venezuelan” as Jorge Medina, 21.

Investigators believe that’s where Solorio-Romero was shot and killed. 

“We believe that her body was removed from there and taken to a location that we do not know of,” Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said during a news conference announcing the arrests of two men Tuesday. 

Several witnesses spoke to investigators, even though they were reportedly threatened by Tobar.  The booking statement says one witness claimed Tobar would kill them if they spoke about the shooting to anyone.  Two others say they heard the gunfire shortly after Solorio-Romero was taken inside.  Another says he witnessed the shooting, although he couldn’t specify if Tobar or Medina was the gunman.

(Orlando Esiesa Tobar. Credit: Salt Lake County Jail)

Rivera says investigators found blood at the West Valley crime scene, as well as other key pieces of evidence.

“A firearm of the same caliber as a bullet recovered from the West Valley City location was later found at the residence where the suspected were located and a search warrant was served,” Rivera says.

Sadly, they have not found Solorio-Romero, yet.  However, they have found the white pick-up with a snowplow that was seen in doorbell video.  Rivera hopes people will remember seeing that truck, which could help them track down the body.

“Somebody knows something,” Rivera said. “We’re going to continue to investigate it until we get everybody arrested that had a part in this.” 

Rivera says this case is heartbreaking for them, and for Solorio-Romero’s family.

“Nicole’s family, they have been actively involved, as well, trying to locate her,” she says.

Booking documents do not specify which of the suspects fired on Solorio-Romero, but they cite Tobar as saying Medina gave him a black pistol after the shooting and told him to “hold on to it.”  Medina was quoted as telling investigators that he didn’t know Solorio-Romero, and only recognized her because her story was on the news.  He also reportedly told investigators he didn’t see or hear anything suspicious on the day of the shooting.

(Jorge Rafael Medina Reyes. Credit: Salt Lake County Jail)

Both men were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated murder.

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Arrests made in likely murder of missing Kearns woman