Utah trooper nabs Oregon murder suspect after traffic stop
Published: August 3, 2013 05:41PM
Updated: August 3, 2013 09:20PM

Two highway travelers wanted for murder in another state are now in jail thanks to a bum headlight and a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper’s instincts.

On Monday, a trooper on Interstate 15 in Willard spotted a 1995 Ford Explorer headed south with a broken headlight. The trooper stopped the vehicle and found that the driver didn’t have a license.

Meanwhile, according to a UHP statement, the passenger seemed visibly nervous. After some prodding, the two told the trooper that they were on a three-day trip from Colorado to California and back again. The trooper became suspicious and had a canine unit inspect the vehicle. The dog sniffed out heroin and marijuana inside the SUV, as well as some unspecified suspicious evidence.

The suspects, 23-year-old Travis Powers and 20-year-old Daniel Armbrecht, were booked into the Box Elder County jail while the trooper made phone calls to Idaho and Oregon to see if the two were wanted for any thefts out of those states. A few days later, on Thursday, a detective from Linn County, Ore., called back to say that they were looking for the suspects, but not for theft. Instead, they were wanted for a homicide there.

The Associated Press reports the two men are from Colorado and were wanted for their alleged connection to the shooting death of a man who was found dead in an Oregon campsite.

Linn County Undersheriff Bruce Riley told the news service that the local circuit court there had issued murder arrest warrants for both men.

As of Saturday, the two were still being held in Box Elder County while Utah officials continued working with Oregon authorities.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion