MILLCREEK, Utah — Monday afternoon Unified Police detectives had a murder on their hands with very little evidence and at that point, no witnesses.
But by late Monday night, they had two people in custody, the man who allegedly pulled the trigger and a woman who allegedly tried to cover it up.
35-year-old Derek Little is now behind bars charged with murder while 27-year-old Tryana Scaramella is in jail for obstruction of justice, for allegedly lying to police about what happened.
A little before eight Monday morning, Scaramella called 911, saying she stepped outside her Millcreek apartment to have a cigarette and found a man lying on the sidewalk, shot.
Police arrived and found Tevita Laloni, wounded and bleeding.
He was rushed to a hospital but quickly pronounced deceased.
Detectives eventually searched the apartment and also retrieved video from a neighbor's doorbell camera.
“There is video showing what appears to be Derek Little, moving this person from the apartment outside onto the sidewalk," said UPD Sgt. Melody Gray.
Detectives say at that point they knew Scaramella's story was bogus.
“We were able to develop some information that showed that our victim had been in apartment number one, which is where this woman had come from, she lives in apartment number one," Sgt. Gray said. "So that just didn’t make a whole lot of sense that she had come outside and saw him there when we had evidence to know that he was actually inside of that apartment.“
Detectives said they also found potential evidence inside the apartment.
“There were weapons inside the home, magazine, spent shell casing other items," according to Sgt. Gray.
Investigators also learned that before fleeing the scene, Little had taken his young son and they were apparently heading to an Native American reservation in South Dakota.
But by late last night police located them in Salt Lake City and arrested Little.
There’s still one more person detectives are looking for who was at the murder scene but they aren’t sure yet what his involvement is.
Officials say all this, in the middle of coronavirus pandemic, shows the dedication of law enforcement.
“Our officers are still out there on the front lines every day dealing with crime and the reality is that we have to face, with unemployment going up and everything else is we know from looking historically, that statistically, our crime will continue to rise as well and is going to put our officers, make them even more busy and have a lot more work to do," Sgt. Gray said.
If you know who the third person is or where he is your asked to call unified police at 801-743-7000.