CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Slain Taylorsville teen remembered as ‘gentle giant’ with a big heart

May 28, 2021, 7:46 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:21 am
Taylorsville teen murdered...
(Nick Vetecnik, family photo)
(Nick Vetecnik, family photo)

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – Family members of a teen boy found murdered in Taylorsville are looking back on his life, calling him a gentle giant with the biggest heart. They said the 15-year-old was a loving, caring kid even though he was dealing with the loss of his parents. 

Nick Vitiecnik’s aunt, Kerri Ingham, had been his legal guardian ever since his father died of a heart attack six months ago. Prior to that, his mother died of colon cancer. Ingham said her nephew missed his parents very much and had been struggling with their loss.  However, he was starting to turn his life around for the better.

“He wanted to go get a job at Chik-Fil-A. He wanted to have a summer job. You know, he had plans,” Ingham said. 

Despite his struggles, Ingham said Nick was the most loving boy she had ever known. They called him a “gentle giant” for a reason, saying he stood six-foot-three and weighed nearly 350 pounds, even though he was only 15.  She says he was always pleasant to be around, always came home before curfew and was a big lover of animals.

Ingham remembers the last time she saw Nick.

She said, “I was on FaceTime with my boyfriend when he grabbed me and pulled me into his chest, gave me a great big bear hug and told me how much he loved me and said, ‘I’m going to go hang out. I’ll be back.’”

Nick was found dead in a cargo trailer on Wednesday, and investigators are calling his death a homicide. Police have taken a 17-year-old into custody, but are not releasing any information about the attack. Ingham was asked not to divulge information about Nick’s death, but she said she still can’t understand what happened. She knows the teen police took into custody, and would never have suspected he could be connected with a homicide.

“I would take them out to get drinks at 7-11. They were good kids. This whole thing is just horrendous,” she said.

After Nick’s death, Ingham said his older brother called from Texas, describing the high hopes the rest of the family had for him.

She said, “His brother called and said, ‘I was going to let Nick know that when it came time for prom, I wanted to help him get a tuxedo and a limo. I wanted to help him have the best prom, ever.’”

Now, the family wants to turn their focus to his funeral. Ingham set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for those expenses.

“We want him to have the most beautiful final resting spot there is, and we want to put his mom’s ashes and his dad’s ashes with him,” she said.

Ingham said she wants Nick’s friends to know one thing. He always loved them and always forgave them, even the ones who used to bully him.

Ingham and her family have set up a Gofundme to help take care of Nick’s funeral costs. The link can be found here

Related articles

Police investigate discovery of dead body in Taylorsville Wednesday afternoon

Investigation confirms suspicious death of Taylorsville teen as homicide

Relatives of slain Taylorsville teen ask for prayers

 

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Slain Taylorsville teen remembered as ‘gentle giant’ with a big heart