Warrants reveal gruesome details in disappearance of 3 Salt Lake men

Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-27 18:46:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Authorities now appear to be treating the mysterious disappearance of three Utah men as a murder investigation.

Police have said almost nothing publicly since three men vanished around Halloween last year. 3 missing men 1

However, Fox 13 discovered detectives have been quietly executing numerous search warrants and analyzing evidence.

Some of the warrants are sealed but what is available paints a gruesome picture of what may have happened to Danny "Kiko" Gallegos, Braden Emerson and Levi Collins last year.

A few days after they disappeared, a Chevy Tahoe was found abandoned in an industrial area in Salt Lake City.

Inside, officers found a "huge" amount of blood.

Warrants reveal there was a bullet hole in the read window and the seat belts had cut from the SUV.

Investigators also found several ounces of meth along with other things only listed as "items."  missing men suspects

Detectives then served search warrants for a Salt Lake storage shed Gallegos rented and a warrant for his home.

Authorities also got warrants for security video from the storage shed, Gallegos' apartment and took samples of dirt from the Tahoe.

In the meantime, a few weeks after authorities found the abandoned Tahoe, officials busted two men in a motor home, 27-year-old Justin Christopher and his father, Richard.

In the bust officers seized 14 guns, $70,000 in cash with notes written in Gallegos' handwriting and a Lamborghini that belonged to Gallegos.

Officials said Justin was Gallegos' associate who police identified as a drug dealer and a confidential informant for the FBI.

He was eventually indicted on money laundering charges for allegedly helping Gallegos launder drug profits through a jewelry store he ran with his father.

Friday Salt Lake police again declined to comment on this case.

Officials will not say whether it is officially a murder investigation or whether Justin Christopher and his father are persons of interest.

Richard Christopher remains in jail on a $250,000 federal hold unrelated to the missing men.

Justin Christopher is out of jail and awaiting federal trial in May on the money laundering charge.