UTAH COUNTY — A man has been charged with obstruction of justice and criminal solicitation after police said he tried to hire a hit man to kill himself.
In late October, Salem Police Department Officer Greg Smith began investigating an individual using a social media application called “Whisper.” Smith responded to a message posted by the individual, which simply read, “Need help. 19F.”
According to court documents, after Smith responded, the individual sent him a request which read, “Kill my ex-fiance. He’s trying to get custody of our daughter.”
Court documents state Smith continued to message the individual, reaching an agreement that the individual would pay $5,000 to have their ex-fiance murdered. The individual stated the murder had to be committed before November 6, the date of the next custody hearing.
The individual then provided specific information in regards to the person they wanted dead; they provided the last name Bedolla, an address, work schedule, vehicle information and a picture of the intended victim, according to court documents.
Smith was able to identify the intended victim as Taylor Bedolla, 22. Court documents state Smith believed he was messaging Bedolla’s ex-girlfriend and, as the threats were of a serious nature, Smith decided to contact Bedolla and explain the situation to him, so Bedolla could keep himself safe.
According to court documents, when Smith contacted Bedolla the first time, Bedolla suggested to Smith that his ex-girlfriend’s brother might want him dead.
Smith contacted Bedolla at his place of work and warned him, then continued the investigation. Court documents state Smith attempted to find surveillance footage of Bedolla’s ex-girlfriend sending messages on the Whisper app while at her place of work. However, Smith did not find any evidence to suggest Bedolla’s ex-girlfriend was the one physically messaging him.
According to court documents, Smith was able to track down the real person behind the messages via IP addresses and a location service on the Whisper app. These things combined led Smith to Bedolla’s place of residence.
Court documents state Smith confronted Bedolla with his findings on the case, and told Bedolla he believed it was Bedolla trying to solicit someone to commit murder. According to court documents, Bedolla then confessed to Smith that he was the one who tried to hire a hit man to kill himself; Bedolla told Smith he was depressed at the time and wanted to die, but couldn’t do it himself.
Bedolla is currently in Utah County Jail with bail set at $50,000.