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Man kills Utah woman, drives to Washington, police say

Published October 27, 2012 3:30 pm

Victim, whose body was found in trailer home, may have been stabbed earlier in the week.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Orem • An Orem woman is dead and police suspect her live-in boyfriend stabbed her and then drove to Washington state to surrender.

Orem police received a call from the Yakima, Wash., Police Department just before noon Friday about a man named Steven John Gray who had turned himself in and said there was a body in a trailer home near 100 S. 1200 West in Orem, said Orem police Sgt. Craig Martinez. Orem police checked there and found Gray's live-in girlfriend, Jennifer Brackenbury, 44, dead from multiple stab wounds, Martinez said.

Police believe she died sometime between Saturday and Tuesday. Martinez did not know what motivated the attack or whether Gray confessed to the homicide. Martinez said Orem police had no reports of domestic violence at the residence.

Gray is being held in custody in Yakima. Two Orem investigators will travel there Sunday to interview Gray, 43, and begin extraditing him to Utah. There was no record Saturday night of formal charges having been filed. Gray is from Washington state, Martinez said.

Neighbor Darrell Petersen said he had seen the couple in passing but didn't know them well. He said he could often see them sitting on the porch talking. Brackenbury had lived in trailer 52 for about eight months, Petersen said, and Gray started living there about four months ago.

Petersen never suspected anything as bad as homicide, but he did find it odd their porch light had been on for about a week, even during the day.

"I remember seeing it and thinking, 'Oh, it's awfully quiet over there,'" Petersen said.

Police started knocking on doors Friday. Petersen said they asked him and his roommate if they had seen Brackenbury in the past few days. Then a few hours later he saw officers hanging crime scene tape.

"This is the first time I've ever been this close to a crime," Petersen said.

Twitter: #Utahcrime