CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Suspect in 2015 murder of West Valley City woman arrested

Oct 3, 2022, 7:10 AM | Updated: 7:16 am

Maria Astorga-Chavez (left) was last seen in August of 2015 with Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez. H...

Maria Astorga-Chavez (left) was last seen in August of 2015 with Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez. He has now been arrested in connection with her death. (Photo: West Valley Police, August 13, 2015).

(Photo: West Valley Police, August 13, 2015)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Police arrested the man accused of murdering Maria Maricela Astorga-Chavez in 2015. After seven years on the run, Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail. 

Astorga-Chavez, who went missing out of West Valley City in 2015 was last seen with the suspect. Authorities found her off of I-70 in Colorado in August of 2015. 

According to police, Huerta-Martinez planned to flee to Mexico and admitted to a friend he strangled someone.

In an indictment from 2015,  Huerta-Martinez was charged with murder, obstructing justice and aggravated robbery. Police now have him in custody but have not shared the details that led to his arrest.

Astorga-Chavez left behind three sons. She was 32 years old

Realated: Police name six people believed to be connected to a 2019 murder in Salt Lake City

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Suspect in 2015 murder of West Valley City woman arrested