CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Reward increases in case of slain Ute woman

Sep 21, 2021, 5:32 PM

unsolved murder...

File: Unified police shared this photo of Akosita Kaufusi, whose body was found near the Great Saltair in August 2020, in announcing a reward in the case. Photo: Unified Police

SALT LAKE CITY — More than a year on, police have boosted the reward in a case of a Ute woman who was shot and killed near the Great Salt Lake.

A jogger first spotted the body of Akosita Kaufusi, 42, a half-mile east of Saltair in Magna near the Great Salt Lake in August of last year. No arrests have been made in the homicide case. Police say she died as the result of a gunshot to the head.

Now police have increased the reward from $1,500 to $5,000 for information in the case. Call Unified Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit at 385-468-9800 or 801-743-7000.

Someone knows who killed Ute woman

Sgt. Melody Cutler, of the Unified Police Department, joined KSL NewsRadio’s Debbie Dujanovic and Dave Noriega to discuss the case.

“The detectives fully believe that there are more than one, probably multiple people, that know what happened to her [Kaufusi] and who did it. And that’s one of the reasons that we have increased that reward so significantly in hoping to entice one of those people to come forward and share that information with us,” Cutler said.

Kaufusi is of Ute heritage.

Debbie asked why some crime cases, like that of Gabby Petito, grab national attention while the Kaufusi case pulls in so little coverage.

“It is absolutely baffling to us. This is one that we have hoped to keep in that forefront,” Cutler said.

She said anyone with information about the Kaufusi case can contact Unified Police and remain anonymous.

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Reward increases in case of slain Ute woman