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Woman ‘forcibly taken’ from Kearns home was shot to death, police say

Two men accused in the slaying of Conzuelo “Nicole” Solorio-Romero have been arrested. Her body has not been found.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera gives a statement about the Conzuelo "Nicole" Solorio-Romero kidnapping case at the Salt Lake County Sheriff's office on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

Police say a Kearns woman who was abducted from her home Feb. 6 was killed and the two men accused in the slaying are in custody.

According to Unified Police, Conzuelo “Nicole” Solorio-Romero, 25, was “forcibly taken” from her home in the area of 5000 West and 5400 South by two men. They were later identified by police as Orlando Esiesa Tobar, 29, and Jorge Rafael Medina Reyes, 21.

(Photo courtesy of Unified Police Department) Conzuelo “Nicole” Solorio-Romero.

Witnesses told police the woman was then taken to a studio apartment in West Valley City, according to a probable cause document. There she was shot, witnesses say, and the two men threatened to kill anyone who revealed what happened.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said at a Tuesday news conference that she wouldn’t provide information on a possible motive or how police identified and located the suspects.

Although police have already found a white truck they believe to be involved in the case, Rivera said they are still looking for Solorio-Romero’s body. She asked people to look “in fields and dumpsters” and “on the side of the road.” Police originally thought the woman’s body may have been dumped out of state but now they are not sure.

She said the police department’s priority is to keep gathering evidence so the perpetrators can be prosecuted.

“We are not going to give up; we are going to continue to look for Nicole,” she said.

What do the police say happened?

According to the probable cause statement, witnesses said Solorio-Romero was put into the back of one of the suspect’s vehicles and was not seen again. One of the witnesses “received a call from [Reyes] stating the victim didn’t die from the initial shot and [he] had to shoot her again.”

Tobar told police Solorio-Romero came with him and Reyes “willingly” on Feb. 6, and that when he walked away from an argument between Solorio-Romero and Reyes, he heard a single gunshot. He said the Reyes later gave him a bag containing a black pistol, and that he does not know where Solorio-Romero’s body is now.

Reyes told police he was at home when Solorio-Romero was abducted, that he did not see or hear anything suspicious, and that he doesn’t know the victim and “only recognized her photo from the stories on the news.”

According to the probable cause statement, an “involved party” told detectives he was later “forced at gunpoint” to help Tobar move Solorio-Romero’s body, which was wrapped in plastic, from the studio apartment to a trailer. That witness did not say where the body was taken.

Rivera said police found a firearm during the investigation. Police also say they recovered “substantial blood evidence” from the studio apartment.

Pending formal charges, the two men have been booked into the Salt Lake County jail for investigation of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated murder.

Additional information being withheld to protect the investigation

Rivera would not release many details about the case, saying the department wants to protect the investigation and prosecution. She said police know whether Solorio-Romero knew the two men, but declined to release that information. Rivera said the two men are from Honduras and Venezuela, but did not elaborate on their relationship to each other.

More information should be released after the district attorney screens the case, said Rivera, who added that the department is working with Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service on the case.

She did say she anticipates more arrests in connection with the slaying. “Two people can’t complete this type of crime on their own,” she said.

Rivera said the department’s hearts and prayers go out to Solorio-Romero’s family, who she said have been trying to find her.

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