CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Police say they are closing in on 6-year cold case that rocked West Valley

Dec 16, 2022, 6:00 AM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:21 am

West Valley Police Department says it is closer to solving a 6-year-long cold case. (West Valley Ci...

West Valley Police Department says it is closer to solving a 6-year-long cold case. (West Valley City)

(West Valley City)

WEST VALLEY, Utah — West Valley Police Department says it is closer to solving a 6-year-long cold case.

On December 12, 2016, Javier Medina was murdered outside a home on West Bendixon Dr. in West Valley City.

According to police, he was helping with a car repair when two men “walked up the driveway, one of them firing shots,” at the 20-year-old.

Medina died at the scene, whilst a friend who was with him sustained two bullet wounds.

Six years later, Police are yet to find Media’s killers. Though, according to Detective Adrian Garlick with the WVPD, officers are closing in on potential suspects.

“We have some persons of interest in the case,” Garlick says.

Medina’s friend injured in the shooting is still traumatized by the event Garlick says.

“She was shot twice, one time in each leg,” he says. “She is still filled to this day with emotional trauma.” 

Detective Garlick also says there isn’t anything to indicate if it was or wasn’t a gang-related crime.

“We won’t know exactly if this was a random type thing [or] if this was mistaken identity, not until we get proper context,” he says.

In Utah alone, there are up to 400 unsolved cold cases, which is tough for investigators.

Solving a cold case

“We get close with the family member’s,” Garlick says. “Especially when it comes to anniversaries or holiday season, it’s especially hard.”

Garlick says you must have a passion and drive to solve a case.

“It can get frustrating and difficult once you reach a point when you run out of leads,” he says.

Despite the difficulty, Garlick says police never stop working even when a case goes cold.

Garlick says Meina was a normal young man who had a passion for cars and was loved by his family.

The WVPD has started an initiative attempting to bring a cold case it’s working on to the public to re-engage the community and help solve the crimes.

The public can contact the WVPD at 801-840-4000.

Devin Oldroyd contributed to this article.

Related: Garfield County cold case homicide is brought to a close

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Police say they are closing in on 6-year cold case that rocked West Valley