Authorities identify victim in murder investigation, juvenile now a suspect

Posted at 11:38 AM, Mar 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-20 18:00:44-04

TOQUERVILLE, Utah -- The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has one juvenile male in custody in connection with the murder of a Toqerville woman, and say there may be other persons of interest.

Police identified the victim Thursday as 58-year-old Geraldine Bommarito.

The juvenile was originally named as a person of interest, but in a press release issued Thursday by the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the juvenile is now being considered a suspect in the case.

Sheriff’s deputies began investigating a separate burglary just after one Wednesday morning. At that burglary, several guns and other valuables had been taken. During the investigation, officers received a tip that a car seen in the area had been spotted at a Washington City gas station.

“The tipster was able to give a vehicle description, with a license plate number,” said Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher. “They ran that plate number and went over to the registered owner’s house to check on the status of the vehicle.”

That’s when deputies found the 58-year-old vehicle owner dead inside her home.

According to Thursday's press release, a vehicle believed to be the victim's was found in a remote area near Springdale, and the release stated the vehicle had been totally consumed by fire. Officials are still working to fully identify the vehicle.

Neighbors say the woman that lived here built the home about five years ago, and while she didn’t have any family that lived close by, she was quite friendly and many of the neighbors here looked after her.

“She gave my wife and I cookies and stuff, and we gave her a little bit of something,” said neighbor Bob Olsen. “Just a real nice lady and she was friendly to everybody.”

Around noon on Wednesday, deputies took a juvenile male into custody, calling him a person of interest in the case. Officials said Thursday they now consider the juvenile a suspect in the homicide. Officials said the juvenile knew the victim, but the two were not related. They also recovered several guns and other property from the initial burglary.

The sheriff’s office says the case is still ongoing.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.