Police make sixth arrest in the kidnapping and murder of Kearns woman

Mar 26, 2021, 6:40 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:22 am

KEARNS – Police have arrested one more person in connection with the kidnapping and killing of a Kearns woman last month, bringing the total number of suspects up to six.  However, investigators are tight-lipped about whether or not a big breakthrough has happened in the case. 

Cristian Morales-Gonzales was reportedly known as “The Mechanic,” according to the probable cause statement, and investigators believe he’s the one that was called to help dispose of Nicole Solorio-Romero’s body.  The statement says Orlando Tobar and the other suspects were seen inside the Tacos Mi Caramelo restaurant immediately after the shooting and Gonzales was called after it happened.

Surveillance video reportedly shows Tobar had left the restaurant with Gonzales, then they returned to the crime scene.

According to witness testimony in the statement, “Chaparro (Tobar) and Cristian left in a white truck with a trailer to go get rid of Nicole’s body.”

The Deseret News is reporting the arrest happened on the same day when several different police agencies, including Unified Police, searched the area along SR 73 in Tooele County south of the Tooele Army Depot.  However, investigators will not say if Romero’s body or any other significant thing was found.

Salt Lake County DA Sim Gill issued a statement, saying, “We are engaged in an active prosecution, having filed charges already. Thus we want to make sure everyone is afforded the due process that is their Constitutional Right. However, this continues to be an active investigation as such we can not comment in that it might compromise or impact those efforts in any way.  When, and if, circumstances change we will let you know.”

Having a high number of suspects tied into one crime has pros and cons for prosecutors. Attorney Greg Skrodas, who is not connected to this case, says there is a chance the investigation could get muddled with all of the suspects telling different stories of what happened.

Skordas “If you have five or six people, or suspect, they all might be pointing fingers at one another.”

However, with more suspects, Skordas says lawyers have a higher chance of flipping one of them into becoming a witness for the state.

“If you have two or three co-defendants in a case, chances are that one of them is going to want to sit down with the state and say, ‘Look, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life or the next ten years, or whatever, in prison,’” he says.

Gonzales was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for obstruction of justice, which is a low-level charge compared to what the other five suspects are facing.  Skordas says it’s common for prosecutors to try to sway defendants facing lesser charges.

“They might be the people the government would use to testify against the real killers.”

The Deseret News is also reporting Tacos Mi Caramelo is the same restaurant where two former employees allegedly tried to kidnap their former boss.


Other Articles:

Arrests made in likely murder of missing Kearns woman

Kearns woman reportedly kidnapped and murdered because she ‘knew too much’

Three more arrested in case of kidnapped and murdered Kearns woman

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime, Police + Courts

GOSHEN, CA - JANUARY 16: Tulare County Sheriff crime unit investigates the scene where six people, ...
Cheri Mossburg, CNN

2 arrested in central California shooting that left 6 dead, including mother clutching 10-month-old son

Originally Published: 03 FEB 23 16:30 ET Updated: 05 FEB 23 22:44 ET     (CNN) — Two suspects were taken into custody, one after a shootout, in a “cartel-style” massacre last month that left six people dead in central California, including a young mother and her 10-month-old son, authorities announced Friday. The suspects, identified in charging […]
13 hours ago
little cottonwood canyon pictured, avalanche risk there is high...
Devin Oldroyd

Backcountry skier dead after fatal fall in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A backcountry skier is dead after "tumbling a significant distance," according to the Unified Police Department. The incident occurred near Lisa Falls.
2 days ago
SLCPD cruiser...
Chandler Holt

SLCPD officer witnesses wrong-way drunk driver crash into embankment

At around 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, an SLCPD officer witnessed a 2009 black Ford F-150 traveling at a high rate of speed in the wrong lane. 
2 days ago
This photo purports to show the suspected Chinese balloon flying over Mills River, North Carolina, ...
Heather Chen and Wayne Chang, CNN

China says it ‘reserves the right’ to deal with ‘similar situations’ after US shoot down suspected spy balloon

China says it "reserves the right" to deal with "similar situations" following the United States' decision to shoot down its high-altitude balloon.
2 days ago
The Goonies House...
Taylor Romine and Ralph Ellis, CNN

Man wanted for leaving a dead fish at ‘The Goonies’ house saved by Coast Guard in daring rescue

A man wanted by police in an incident at a house featured in "The Goonies" was the subject of a Coast Guard rescue when he was tossed from a stolen boat as it capsized, authorities said.
3 days ago
SLCPD said the driver is fully cooperating with the investigation and the children received non-lif...
Chandler Holt

SLCPD makes arrest connected to fatal stabbing case

SLCPD announced the arrest of 26-year-old Ivy Chase Grant today. Grant was booked into Salt Lake County Metro Jail on a charge of obstruction of justice. 
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Police make sixth arrest in the kidnapping and murder of Kearns woman