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'It makes no sense': Family of Taylorsville homicide victim mourns loss of teen

Posted at 9:32 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-29 00:45:22-04

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — For the first time since learning their 15-year-old was found dead on Wednesday evening, family members shared memories and special moments with FOX 13 News.

Losing Ivan Nickolas "Nick" Vetecnik at such a young age was a nightmare no family wants to experience.

READ: Teen victim in Taylorsville homicide investigation identified

Kerri Ingham was Vetecnik’s aunt before she was his mother.

“I became legal guardian of Nick in December, when his father passed away from a heart attack,” said Ingham.

Vetecnik lost his mom to cancer two years before that.

It's an unfathomable family loss that Ingham never expected they would go through, and she never expected she would being saying goodbye again so soon.

“We called him a gentle giant, our lover boy,” said Ingham. “He and I have always had this special bond.”

Ingham said she gave Vetecnik a big hug before he left for the day on Wednesday, both expressing they would meet up again in the early afternoon.

“When we didn’t see him, I started blowing his phone up,” said Ingham.

It wasn’t until later Ingham saw fire trucks just a few minutes away from their home.

“We just knew something wasn’t right,” she said.

Vetecnik was found dead in a cargo trailer parked behind a house down the street.

A 17-year-old was taken into custody later that evening, someone Ingham said spent time with her nephew almost every day.

“He’s been around since he was four or five,” said Ingham. “He was his friend when he had no one else in the world.”

Now the family feels as though they have lost two loved ones — a grief Ingham said was too horrible to comprehend.

“He was the softest, kindest heart that you could imagine,” said Ingham.

The family will hold Vetecnik’s funeral next Friday, June 4.

Unified Police have confirmed they are still waiting to hear back from the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office on whether or not they will be handling this case.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.