Suspect in Taylorsville homicide in custody, man had ticket to leave country

Posted at 7:31 PM, Apr 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-20 19:31:55-04

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah -- Police stated Saturday they arrested a suspect in connection with a murder investigation that began after police found a dead woman inside a Taylorsville home earlier this week.

According to a press release from the Unified Police Department, Bryan Steve Quintanilla was taken into custody as the investigation unfolded; the man is described by police as an 18-year-old transient.

Police were called to 3973 W. Blue Meadow Drive Wednesday, following up on a missing person call. They found 59-year-old Margaret Steffey dead inside.

FOX 13 News' Todd Tanner spoke with the victim's sister, Mary Bearefield, on Sunday, see the video above for her interview.

Police identified an ATM card that was missing from the home and found it was being used by Quintanilla. Evidence from the scene was taken, forensically tested and compared to Quintanilla, the release stated. A search warrant obtained on his vehicle turned up a passport and a plane ticket for Quintanilla's transit to Central America. According to a statement of probable cause, the ticket was for a flight bound to El Salvador.

Jim Winder, Salt Lake County Sheriff, said the suspect used the card several times.

"The case is unique in a number of ways," he said. "First, there were a number of financial crimes being committed. Her ATM card was being used on a regular basis. We were monitoring that and able to use the information in the apprehension."

Winder went on to say the fact the suspect used the card to withdraw cash multiple times was also unique, as was the use of the card to purchase the plane ticket to a foreign country. Winder said the suspect may have been known to the victim, and he said the suspect is believed to have been living out of his car and possibly in fields in the Taylorsville area.

The man's ticket was for a flight departing at 10 a.m., and Winder said they apprehended the suspect at 7 a.m.

The man has been booked on multiple charges, which include aggravated murder.