KEARNS, Utah — A Kearns woman who was allegedly kidnapped in broad daylight over a week ago was murdered, police say, and two men have been arrested.
The suspects, Orlando Tobar, 29, and Jorge Medina, 21, were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Monday on charges of aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping. Both charges are first-degree felonies, and more charges could be filed.
Conzuelo “Nicole” Solorio-Romero was taken from her home on Feb. 6 and had not been seen since. Her body has not yet been found, but it remains a priority for the Unified Police Department.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to [Solorio-Romerio's] family, because Nicole's family, they have been actively involved as well, trying to locate her," said UPD Sheriff Rosie Rivera during a press briefing.
Rivera says she believes that more suspects are involved in the case and that additional arrests could be made.
"Two people can't commit this type of crime on their own," said Rivera. "Somebody knows something and that's what I'm asking for our public and our media to continue covering this story because somebody does know something and they need to come forward."
"This is not right. To take a young girl's life in this way is just wrong. It's wrong for our community and we're not going to stand for it," she added
Security video released by the Unified Police Department showed Solorio-Romero being taken by suspects, known at the time as Chaparro and The Venezuelan, holding a weapon, either a gun or knife, and put into a vehicle.
Police said Solorio-Romero was then taken to an apartment in West Valley City. Witnesses outside the apartment said they had heard one gunshot after Solorio-Romero was taken inside by the suspects.
The witnesses who told police about the gunshot said Tobar told them they would be killed if they told anyone about what they heard. One said Tobar later called to say Solorio-Romero hadn't died from the first gunshot and that he had to shoot her again.
A search of the West Valley City apartment by a SWAT team found "substantial blood" and evidence that someone had attempted to clean it up.
Tobar told police that Solorio-Romero went willingly with him and Medina, and that after she went into the apartment, he left to get his tools and heard a gunshot. He added that Medina "always carries a black pistol" and that he gave it to him to hold for three days before he returning the weapon.
Medina denied seeing or hearing anything suspicious and only knew Solorio-Romero from seeing her on the news.
Police found a black .40 caliber pistol from the residence where Tobar was arrested.
An unidentified person told police that they were forced at gunpoint by Tobar to move Solorio-Romero's body from the apartment and into a trailer. Tobar threatened the person with their life if they mentioned anything about the incident.
Police thought Tobar and Medina may have been headed to Wyoming before they were arrested, but Rivera did not know what ties, if any, the suspects had in the state.
While saying there are currently no similar cases to Solorio-Romero's abduction and murder, Rivera added that she could not rule that out.
"The way that the violence occurred on this case would make one think that this is not their first rodeo," she said.
Officials have asked the public to assist in finding Solorio-Romero's body.
FOX 13 News has decided not to publish or broadcast booking photos of Orlando Tobar, 29 and Jorge Medina, 21, the two individuals arrested in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Conzuelo “Nicole” Solorio-Romero. Last week, the Utah House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ban law enforcement from releasing booking photos (aka. “mug shots”) of criminal suspects until after they are convicted. This bill now goes before the Utah Senate. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Standing Committee.