Warrant reveals new details of northern Utah killing

SALT LAKE CITY — Interviews with youngsters and telephone pinging helped regulation enforcers in northern Utah discover the physique of a lacking lady who was allegedly murdered.

The physique of Merrilee Cox-Lafferty, 37, was discovered Sept. 14 in a shallow grave in Left Hand Fork Canyon. She had pushed to northern Utah on Aug. 17 from California together with her minor daughter, was last seen on Aug. 18 and was reported missing on Aug. 21.

After her physique was found, Stacy Robert Willis, forty one, of Hyrum, was arrested and later charged in 1st District Courtroom with capital murder, a first-degree felony; three counts of obstructing justice, a second-diploma felony; possession of a harmful weapon by a restricted individual, a second-diploma felony; two counts of drug possession, a category B misdemeanor; possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor; and legal mischief, a category B misdemeanor.

With a capital murder charge, Willis might face the demise penalty if convicted. Prosecutors haven’t stated but whether or not they intend to pursue that. Willis has been ordered by a decide to be held without bail within the Cache County Jail. His subsequent scheduled courtroom date is Oct. 1.

Based on a newly unsealed search warrant, Cox-Lafferty traveled to Utah from California together with her daughter to deliver medicine to Willis.

“Merrilee was bringing two giant luggage of marijuana from California to offer to Rob to sell, so her mother might get cash,” the daughter advised police in a Sept. three interview, in line with the warrant.

Logan Police Capt. Curtis Hooley on Wednesday confirmed that medicine have been a factor within the investigation, however he stated detectives have been still not sure why Willis allegedly turned on Cox-Lafferty. He stated the two had recognized one another for numerous years.

Willis initially informed police that he and Cox-Lafferty obtained into a heated argument in the parking zone of an condo complicated on Aug. 18.

“Rob stated that Merrilee was yelling and swearing profusely,” in response to the warrant. “Rob stated because of the struggle he was four hours late for work.”

A pal of Willis’ advised police he needed to take his youngsters inside due to the argument and that “he advised Rob to inform Merrilee to stop because she would trigger points for him at the condominium complicated,” the warrant states.

But when police interviewed those youngsters on Aug. 24, “none of them (recalled) this argument occurring in their presence,” based on the warrant. Officers requested different tenants at the complicated concerning the alleged battle and questioned those who Willis and his good friend specifically stated heard it.

“None of the persons contacted throughout this canvas recalled seeing or listening to the dispute as described by (the good friend) and Rob,” the warrant states. “Even these particularly identified people didn’t recall the dispute.”

Willis claimed that Cox-Lafferty continued to textual content him after he went to work, to the purpose that he blocked her quantity on his cellphone, the warrant states. But when a police…

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