Orem man arrested, accused of killing his girlfriend

Posted at 10:51 AM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 18:11:42-04

OREM, Utah — An Orem man was arrested early Tuesday after police say he killed his girlfriend and attempted to cover up the crime.

Luis Manuel Vargas Lopez, 27, faces charges of murder, obstruction of justice, and domestic violence in the presence of a child.

According to arrest documents, first responders were called to a home in the area of 1070 North and 180 West around 8:30 p.m. Monday after receiving a call of an unconscious woman who was not breathing.

Officers immediately noticed the woman had significant injuries to her face and a puncture wound above the left eyebrow before pronouncing her dead at the scene.

Vargas Lopez allegedly told police he and his girlfriend had an argument earlier in the day and that he had left the home hours earlier. When he returned later, Vargas Lopez claimed to have found the woman "slumped over in a chair next to a bottle of floor cleaner," according to the affidavit.

However, video from a nearby security camera showed Vargas Lopez had only left the residence for 12 minutes, and not hours as he had told detectives.

Based on the condition of the woman's body, police estimated she had been dead since about 4 p.m., several hours before Vargas Lopez's friend called 911.

When pressed by detectives, Vargas Lopez allegedly changed his story, admitting that he and the woman had an argument in the afternoon, but claimed the victim's swollen and bruises eyes were caused because she "would punch herself in the face," the affidavit read.

Vargas Lopez, who had two children with the woman, was arrested and booked into jail.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence there are ways to get help.

Call the confidential Utah Domestic Violence Coalition 24/7 at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.