Vigil held for 3 missing men days after bloody SUV found abandoned in SLC

Posted at 10:01 PM, Nov 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-16 00:06:11-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- More than 100 people gathered for a vigil in honor of three missing men in Salt Lake City Saturday night.

On November 3, police were called to an industrial area on the city's west side near Redwood Road and 1500 South. Someone in the area had noticed a dog inside what appeared to be an abandoned vehicle. When officers arrived, they noticed a large amount of blood inside the SUV.

The vehicle is linked to three men who set out to spend the day together on Saturday, November 1. They are 23-year-old Braden Emerson, 34-year -old Levi Collins and 35-year-old Danny Gallegos. None of the men have been seen since.

The Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating, and earlier this week they determined that blood found in the car is a match for one of the men, whom they are not publicly naming.

Police also told FOX 13 News on Saturday that they are processing more evidence from the SUV, including testing more blood samples to determine if the blood of more than one person was present.

At Saturday night's vigil, hope that the men might still be alive was hard to come by.

"In my heart of hearts, I'm hoping he's still alive, but the reality of it is, I don't think so," said Fran, who is Danny Gallegos' mother. "So I just want to find these bodies and bring them home."

Several people wore custom made T-shirts with a photo of Levi Collins bearing his name, and the dates 1980-2014 printed under the photo.

Some attending the vigil were strangers to one another when they arrived, but they quickly shared words, hugs and tears.

"I hope that with all the family and friends here, that strengthened the family, just to see how much their loved ones were loved," said Pastor Sid Casillas from the Life Church of West Valley, who spoke to FOX 13 News after addressing the crowd and leading them in prayer.

Police said they are hoping for more tips from the public. They'd like to hear from anyone who saw the men after 1 p.m. on Saturday November 1.

The Salt Lake City Police Department can be contacted at 801-799-3000.