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Two men at large in triple homicide in Midvale

Published February 12, 2013 9:39 pm

Crime • Police offer no motive for the killings in what they call a "known drug house."
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Midvale • Two men named as suspects in a triple homicide that killed two women and one man here Tuesday morning remained at large as police continued the hours-long process of searching the crime scene through the night.

Police offered no motive for the shooting, although they said the residence at 8286 S. Adams St. (450 West) was a "known drug house" where a search warrant had been served about a month ago as part of an "ongoing narcotics investigation."

Unified Police Department Lt. Justin Hoyal said David Fresques, a 25-year-old ex-con with gang ties, is a suspect in the homicides, along with a second unidentified adult male.

Fresques was last seen driving a white Nissan Maxima, which police found several hours later at a Midvale Motel 6, 7263 Catalpa Road (500 West). The motel was cleared of guests and searched, but Fresques was not found and remained at large Tuesday night.

Police learned of the shooting about 8 a.m., when officers responding to a 911 call — which came from inside the house in the aftermath of the slayings — found the bodies of a man and two women, as well as another injured woman. The victims' bodies remained inside the house as of Tuesday evening while police processed the crime scene. Their identities were not released Tuesday night. Hoyal said the injured woman was upgraded from critical to serious condition as they day progressed.

Hoyal said there were two other adults and a child in the home at time of the shooting who were not injured, and they were being interviewed.

Fresques, a bald, 5-foot-8, 180-pound Latino man, was believed to be in the home sometime Tuesday morning, Hoyal said. Police were investigating Fresques' relationship with the people in the home and how frequently he was there.

Hoyal described the manhunt as "very active" and said approximately 70-80 officers had been searching throughout the day for the two suspects.

Police obtained a search warrant to enter the Midvale home at 5:30 p.m. Officers also planned to seek a search warrant for Fresques' car, which was seized.

Leonard Heitz, who was a guest Tuesday at the Motel 6 where Fresques' car was found, said he was surprised to see police descend on the building. He said police told him at one point that the suspect was in a room adjacent to his own. Heitz was moved to a different part of the facility while dozens of heavily armed officers searched the area.

Heitz called the police response "overwhelming," but said he was grateful when he heard what had happened.

During a midday press conference, Hoyal requested the public's help in locating Fresques, and urged him to contact police: "Mr. Fresques, we want to talk to you."

Hoyal warned people not to approach Fresques, whom he called "armed and dangerous."

Robert VanHorn, who said he has worked near the crime scene for 17 years, was on his way to a nearby warehouse when he learned of the shootings and decided to wait in his truck to see what happened. VanHorn said the area isn't that safe and he probably wouldn't walk outside early in the morning or late at night.

"I've watched the houses change from good to bad and from bad to good," he said.

News of the crime spread quickly through the city early when police ordered lockdowns of nearby Midvale, Mid Valley, East Midvale, Sandy and Copperview elementary schools, along with Midvale Middle School, as they searched for suspects. Outside entry doors were locked, no one was allowed in or out, and students were locked inside classrooms.

The lockdowns were lifted when police gave the all clear at 10 a.m., said Canyons School District spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook.

Hoyal noted, however, that police officers remained at the schools even after the order was lifted.

Kara Sylvester, whose daughter attends Midvale Middle, said she was "really freaked out" after hearing of the triple homicide. When she learned the suspect was still at large, she was even more frightened.

"I didn't want to leave the school," she said.

Sylvester waited until the lockdown ended at 10:15 a.m. before departing the school with her two younger children.

Fresques has a criminal record dating back to 2006 that includes convictions for robbery, forgery, assault, criminal mischief, possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed dangerous weapon, according to a search of Utah court records.

In 2008, Fresques was sent to the Utah State Prison for one to 15 years in the robbery case. He was paroled in July 2010, but was returned to prison on a parole violation. He was most recently paroled on Nov. 6, 2012, according to parole authorities.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims