Police say new DNA evidence may help solve 2016 cold case murder

Mar 29, 2022, 6:46 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:20 am

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Investigators say they have new clues to help them solve a cold-case murder from 2016.  They believe the case will, eventually, be solved, but they still need the public to come forward with any information they may have about the case. 

Angel Reyes says it still hurts to think about his brother’s funeral and remember the sight of the casket being lowered into the ground.  He says Alejandro Reyes was the kind of man who enjoyed visiting his family, gave great advice and rewarded kids for doing well in school.

Angel Reyes said, “Overall, he was just a great big brother to us.  He was a great human being.”

Cold case murder

The family still has a lot of questions about what happened to Alejandro, and how he was found dead by hikers in Butterfield Canyon in October 2016.  Investigators say the body was wrapped in “heavy plastic” and that he was the victim of an especially violent crime.  Reyes’ other brother, Edgar, says he didn’t have any enemies that they knew of.  Plus, he says Butterfield Canyon isn’t a place his brother would visit on his own.

Edgar Reyes said, “That we know of, no, he does not go up there.  That’s clear up in the canyons.  We never go out there.”

(Edgar Reyes, left, and Angel Reyes, at podium, becoming emotional as they speak about their brother’s murder. Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera, right, also spoke at the press conference. Photo: Paul Nelson, March 29, 2022)

Reyes’ vehicle was found abandoned at an apartment complex in Riverton, and Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera says they’re still not certain if he was killed in Butterfield Canyon, or killed somewhere else and left there.

New DNA strands

However, she says they’re getting more clues thanks to improved DNA technology.  Rivera says investigators were recently able to find new DNA strands among the evidence they had collected. However, that DNA hasn’t led to any specific persons of interest, yet.

Rivera said, “They were able to, basically, identify multiple possible suspects through DNA, however, we don’t know who those suspects are.”

This new evidence has Rivera feeling more confident that the case can be solved.  She calls on the suspects to come forward, saying it will be better for them to cooperate than to keep hiding.

“We’re going to solve it.  We’re going to find out who you are,” she said. 


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Police say new DNA evidence may help solve 2016 cold case murder