Suspects identified in 2016 Butterfield Canyon cold case murder

Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 19:53:49-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A family made an emotional plea to the public Tuesday to help find those who killed their brother, Alejandro Reyes, almost six years ago.

“Sorry, it’s still hard to talk about it,” said Angel Reyes, Alejandro's brother.

Angel was 17-years-old when he lost his older brother. Through tears, Reyes’s younger brothers, Edgar and Angel, gave their emotional plea to the public to find their brother’s killer. The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office held a briefing to bring the cold case back into the light.

“It’s just sad and it’s hard for us, even after 5-and-a-half years, going on six, that he’s been taken from us, it still hurts us,” said Edgar Reyes.

Back on Oct. 5, 2016, a hiker in Butterfield Canyon found a body wrapped in heavy plastic. The medical examiner identified the 26-year-old Reyes as the victim, with detectives saying it appeared to be an extremely violent crime.

“He was beaten viciously, and we want to solve it for his family,” said Sheriff Rosie Rivera.

Edgar said days before the family last heard from Alejandro, they invited him over to hang out, but he declined. His body was found four days later in a canyon he had no reason to be in.

Alejandro's family said he had no connection with Butterfield Canyon and was more of a homebody than anything.

“For him to be found up there, it’s just odd to us so to answer your question, he does not go up there,” said Edgar.

According to investigators, Alejandro was beaten to death sometime between Oct. 1 and the day he was found. On Oct. 6, police found Reyes’ truck at an apartment complex in Riverton, but don’t know who abandoned it at that location.

The Utah Bureau of Forensics has identified multiple suspects through DNA.

“However, we don’t know who those suspects are, we only have the DNA. That’s why we want the public’s help,” said Rivera.

The sheriff said it’s important to solve this case as whoever did this is still in our community, and has one of the department's best detectives working on the case.

“What I would like to say to the individuals involved in this case, we’re gonna solve it," Rivera said. "We’re gonna find out who you are. It’s better for you to come forward and work with us on this case."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Unified Police Dispatch at 801-840-4000, or Detective Ben Pender at 385-468-9816.