Three more arrested in case of kidnapped and murdered Kearns woman
Mar 24, 2021, 9:42 AM | Updated: 6:27 pm
KEARNS, Utah — The Unified Police Department has confirmed that 3 more arrests have been made in the case of murdered Kearns woman, Nicole Solorio-Romero.
Officials say Carolina Marquez and her son, Fernando, have been booked for murder, kidnapping and obstruction of justice. Ivan Acosta was also booked for kidnapping and obstruction.
#Breaking: @UPDSL confirm 3 more arrests have been made in the kidnapping & murder of Nicole Solorio Romero. They are Carolina Marquez, Fernando Marquez & Ivan Acosta. Carolina is Fernando’s mother & a local restaurant owner where Nicole worked. @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/A4KOtstSrG
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) March 24, 2021
Victim’s family still hopeful she’ll be found
“We want to lay my sister to rest, if that’s her case. We want to move on as a family. It’s like, you’ve already killed my sister, what more damage do you want to do?” she asks.
Romero-McDonald says she understands the investigation will be a lengthy process and she’s pleased progress is being made, but, it’s still a frustrating thing to endure. She say her family’s pain is still just beginning, and they look back on Nicole as a funny and caring person.
“She was always napping at my house, always looking for snacks and always making a joke out of everything,” Romero-McDonald says. “Every time I had a hard time, she was always my best friend and my listening ear. She made me feel like nothing else in the world mattered.”
New details released in probable cause statements
Investigators say the search for the body is far from over. Unified Police Sergeant Melody Cutler says there were many people inside the West Valley apartment complex where Romero was killed, and they believe someone else may know what happened to her.
“We’re hoping that somebody else may know something and that person will come forward,” Cutler says.
Probable cause statements say before the shooting, Carolina Marquez spoke with people about how her adult son was “set up” and is now in jail. On the day of the attack, Marquez was reportedly on the phone with someone, telling them to remove Romero’s things from the home. The documents also state Fernando Marquez, Romero’s landlord, was one of them men who threatened Romero with a gun, ordering she go with suspects Orlando Tobar and Jorge Medina.
As Tobar and Medina reportedly arrived with Romero, the PC statement says Carolina Marquez told the men to take her upstairs, where she was later killed. After the shooting, police say the suspects met at Marquez’s restaurant, Tacos Mi Caramelo, and met briefly before returning to the West Valley residence to clean up the crime scene. Police body cam reportedly shows both Marquezes and Acosta moving items out of the apartment and cleaning up just hours after the shooting.
Cutler says, “We believe that Carolina and Fernando have been involved in this and were a party to the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Nicole.”
The statements also say Romero’s sister, spoke on the phone with Fernando Marquez, saying, “Give us Nicole back, we just want Nicole back,” hours after she was taken from her Kearns home.
Sequence of events leading to Solorio-Romero’s disappearance
Romero disappeared from her Kearns apartment Saturday, Feb. 6, when police say she was kidnapped by people who were afraid she was giving information about an associate in federal custody.
Charging documents tied to Orlando “Chaparro” Tobar and Jorge Medina-Reyes say she was then taken to a home in West Valley city where she was interrogated by Tobar about what she may have told investigators about someone who is in federal custody.
The probable cause statement says Tobar told his victim that “she knew too much,” and she wasn’t going to leave the apartment. That’s when Medina-Reyes reportedly shot Solorio-Romero in the back of the head. Documents state witnesses left the room immediately after the shooting, but some claim they heard a second shot then saw Tobar exiting the room with blood on his hands.
Witnesses also reportedly saw the victim’s body wrapped in plastic and loaded onto the back of a landscaping truck.
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This story is breaking and will be updated.