An 18-year-old man is in jail after he reportedly used a dating app to lure a woman to a Davis County park, stabbed her repeatedly, and then went and stabbed another woman. He told police he intended to kill them and others — including his family.
According to the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect had been messaging his first victim on Tinder. The pair had met once before, and on Thursday, the suspect convinced the 18-year-old victim to meet him at Mueller Park, about 5 miles from Bountiful.
The two were there for several hours, according to a Friday news release. At some point, the suspect “coerced her into his vehicle, and at around 6:30 p.m. he stabbed her repeatedly with a knife that had “a fixed blade nearly a foot in length,” a probable cause statement reads.
The victim fought with the suspect, got out of the vehicle and ran. According to police, the suspect stabbed her in the back as she ran toward other people in the park. Witnesses “helped create a barrier” between the suspect and victim, and a pair of nurses and an EMT rendered aid while help was called. The woman suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
The suspect then drove to a gas station in Bountiful and ditched the vehicle. He also threw the victim’s cell phone away “in an area where he believed it would not be found.”
In a neighborhood near 550 N 500 W, the suspect approached another woman, 64, and stabbed her several times, “causing life-threatening injuries.” She, too, was taken to a hospital in critical condition. The victims’ names have not been released; however, both were listed in stable condition Friday afternoon, according to the release.
The suspect left the area but was detained by a “Good Samaritan” until police arrived and took him into custody, the release states. According to the probable cause statement, the suspect told police he had been planning to murder the first victim since he began interacting with her on Tinder. He said he invited her to Mueller Park “with the intent of luring her into his car and killing her”; that he held her against her will; and that he stabbed her in an attempt to “kill her.”
According to police, he said he threw the victim’s phone away to get rid of evidence.
The suspect went on to say, according to the probable cause statement, that he approached the second victim “because she was elderly, alone and vulnerable,” and that he also intended to kill her.
According to police, the suspect also told them he planned to kill other people — that he made “plans to live out of his car, and even took steps to pack … food to sustain him” while he acted on “his desire to continue to kill people who he thought were vulnerable.”
Police said the suspect “talked at length about killing his parents and siblings with a pickax” that he had at home, and that “if he was released he would continue his plans to kill” people he contacted on social media apps.
The suspect was booked into the Davis County jail for investigation of attempted murder, obstruction of justice and aggravated kidnapping. He is being held without bail.
The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name suspects until they have been charged with a crime.
Correction: May 13, 5:25 p.m. • A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the suspect’s age as 19; he is 18 years old, according to a news release from Friday afternoon.