BYU student cooking soap, not meth, attorney says

Posted at 9:37 PM, Nov 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-11 23:37:19-05

PROVO, Utah -- A suspected meth lab inside a BYU student’s apartment is not what it seems, according to his attorney.

Investigators with the Provo Police Department have been looking for Bryce Cazier, 21, since his roommates discovered a suspicious cooking setup in his bedroom on Friday.

However, attorney Jere Reneer contends his client was cooking soap, not drugs.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Reneer said. “He makes organic soaps. He does herbal extracts. He's kind of into the organic chemistry thing. It would be the Mormon equivalent of brewing your own beer."

A quick search online shows tutorials for making soap that involves equipment and a crystallization process Reneer believes is similar to what you would see in a drug lab.

“It's unlikely that the investigators even knew what they were picking up,” Reneer said. “Obviously, it's clear what they think they saw.”

Authorities have not divulged exactly what they found. The items removed from the apartment on Friday are still in the process of being

tested and reviewed.

“It appears it may be a meth lab, according to the investigators who were out there. That’s what we’re looking into, at this point,” said Det. Chris Chambers.

Investigators initially said they were having difficulty finding Cazier, but Reneer argued that was because he had left for a weekend trip to Salt Lake City before police were even called.

Cazier learned about the search of his apartment from his parents, who had seen it on the news.

“This is a returned missionary with no legal history other than a speeding ticket,” Reneer said. “It's not some meth lab dealer guy that we are dealing with."

Cazier is expected to meet with investigators later this week.