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Weber Co. Sheriff's Office announces arrest in murder of Lopine 'Chynna' Toilolo

Lopine "Chynna" Toilolo
Andy Dennis
Posted at 3:09 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 00:26:24-04

The Weber County Sheriff's Office Wednesday announced the arrest of the person they think killed 30-year-old Lopine "Chynna" Toilolo, whose body was found in Ogden Canyon last month.

Andy Dennis faces one count of murder and two counts of obstruction of justice.

He is the man Chynna's family suspected from early on, saying they found out Chynna went to visit him shortly before she disappeared on Mother's Day.

Chynna's father, Sefuluai Toilolo, said this is the moment they've been waiting for.

"There's a lot of frustration as we waited for this, but the outcome that we waited for is finally here," Sefuluai said. "All I can say is that... my daughter did not deserve what happened to her."

A neighbor of Andy told Fox 13 that she could hear Andy fighting with a woman early that Sunday morning on May 10, and that the woman got into Andy's car and the two drove off. The neighbor called police and took a photo of the woman, that family believes shows Chynna.

At the time, Pleasant View police responded but reported not finding any disturbance, and left the area.

In a previous interview with FOX 13, Chynna's parents said Dennis was her ex-boyfriend and he had been abusive with her in the past.

Chynna's family said they last heard from her when she texted her mother saying she was on her way home. Her body was found in Ogden Canyon two days later.

The family said Andy kept changing his story of what happened when they confronted him. The probable cause statement filed Wednesday also states that Andy changed his story with police.

At first, documents said, he claimed Chynna got into an Uber and left by herself. Then, documents explain, he told police he left with Chynna to take her back home to West Jordan.

However, police outline, the evidence they collected shows Andy's cell phone was pinged in Ogden Canyon, and his car was picked up on surveillance video driving in and out of the canyon later in the morning on Sunday.

The Medical Examiner's office determined Chynna died from strangulation.

Investigators say Andy told his children-- who were home that morning-- to lie to police about what happened.

"The obstruction of justice is part of witness tampering with two of the witnesses that were involved in the case," said Lt. Cortney Ryan, Weber County Sheriff's Office.

The probable cause statement says the children originally told police Chynna got a ride from someone else. During a later interview, the statement says the children said Andy told them what to say. The children told police that Andy and Chynna had been fighting, and he took her cell phone and put it in a box in the garage before leaving with her.

The Weber County Sheriff's Office explained that it took time to get everything together, before they could arrest Andy.

"It's just an intense investigation, there's many different moving parts that come along with a case like this," Lt. Ryan said. "We want to make sure that the evidence is strong."

Andy was arrested and charged in December for assault, and Chynna's family said it left her severely injured. According to court documents, Andy and his girlfriend got into a fight about their relationship and he hit her several times, injuring her head and face.

Chynna's friends and family have since worked to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Sefuluai said during the press conference Wednesday, that the family believes Chynna is now in a good place and is being taken care of.

"This is what we waited for, is just justice for her," he said, adding, "and give us some closure as a family."

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there is help available. You can call the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition 24/7, free and confidential hotline at 1-800-897-LINK, or click here for resources.