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Draper police rule out murder suspects as Utah teen’s family seeks closure

Police say the men initially arrested are no longer suspected in the crime.

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Draper police said they’ll never stop searching for Anne’s killer. Solving the case is the top priority, said Draper police Sgt. Chad Carpenter.

"I believe that we eventually will solve this case," Carpenter said. "We’ve worked on this case non-stop. We hope to continue to find the killer in the case and bring that person to justice."

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Loris Ferry said she heard in the months after the killing that Anne had been communicating online with another youth, and that’s who killer her. But said she hadn’t told Draper police that.

Draper police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Loris Ferry’s allegation.

A self-admitted drug dealer, addict and gang member, Ferry has vehemently denied he had anything to do with Anne’s death and insists he didn’t even know the teen. Ferry alleged that police were relying on the purported memory of a woman who is a drug addict and who was angry with him at the time. He claims the junkie made up the entire story.

Anne’s family said they last saw her alive the night of March 10, 2012, when she went to her bedroom to listen to music. At some point, she apparently sneaked out and her family reported her as a runaway. Before Anne left her Riverton home, she spent about 30 minutes talking on her cell phone to people with unavailable phone numbers, according to search warrants unsealed in 3rd District Court.

Where’s the evidence? » Initially it seemed police had an iron-clad case against Daniel Ferry and Vehekite, the warrants state. Police allegedly had the eyewitness who told them that the night of March 10, 2012, Anne arrived at Ferry’s Draper home with someone named "L.J." "L.J’s" identity remains a mystery. Ferry had made a sexual advance toward Anne and when she rebuffed that advance, he slammed her head into the wall, knocking her unconscious, according to the search warrant.

Police alleged Ferry, Vehekite and L.J., who has not been arrested, moved Anne into the garage, where they changed her clothes, placed her in a tarp and put her into a vehicle parked out front.

"A couple of hours later" the three returned to Ferry’s home and "they all had blood on their clothing," the witness told police. Daniel then bragged about how Anne had decided to go "swimming" and that "she put up one hell of a fight," according to the search warrant.

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Ferry is currently serving one to 15 years at a maximum-security Draper prison for an unrelated kidnapping. Vehekite, who remains in the Davis County jail on a federal hold, has declined requests for an interview. Daniel Ferry said Vehekite was one of his best friends.

When police found Anne, her face was so badly beaten she was nearly unrecognizable and investigators had to use scars, clothing and cosmetic dentistry to identify her, according to search warrants. One of her fingernails was pushed back and she appeared to have defensive wounds on her hands, the warrant shows. Investigators hoped some of the killer’s DNA was left on Anne’s hands during the struggle, the warrants state.

But they have not disclosed whether they obtained any usable forensic evidence.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said he is not going to speculate on who was or was not arrested, noting that the case had never been formally screened for charges.

"[It’s] not a question of simply arresting people," Gill said. "It is making sure the people you arrest can be appropriately charged with the evidence you have."

As Anne’s family waits for answers, Veronica Kasprzak said their focus has shifted. Anne dreamed of her Sweet 16. Of starting to date. Of going to college, getting married and having children of her own.

But she’ll never have the chance to fulfill any of those dreams. Nothing will bring her back.

"At this point it’s not about justice," she said. "Anne doesn’t get to come home regardless of what happens."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Draper police at 801-840-4000.


Twitter @sltribjanelle

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