Man charged in Midvale massage parlor killing accused of stabbing woman more than 50 times

Yuping Jiao, 45, was found dead on Jan. 4.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Midvale massage parlor A+ Massage, at 7444 S. State Street, on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. A man was charged with murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of a woman who was working at the massage parlor earlier this month.

A California man was charged with murder Tuesday in connection with the killing of a woman who authorities say was stabbed more than 50 times while working at a Midvale massage parlor earlier this month.

Yuping Jiao, 45, was killed on Jan. 4 at A+ Massage, located at 7444 S. State St., charging documents state. State records indicate she was the business’s registered agent.

During a news conference Tuesday, officials said Jiao’s brother found her sometime after the attack, when he went to check on her at the business. Unified police responded, and she was soon pronounced dead.

Police initially released few details about the woman’s death, including how she died. Days later, they turned to the public for help, asking for any information that may generate leads in the case.

But it was DNA evidence that led to the arrest this month of 39-year-old Steven Chance Brinkerhoff in Jiao’s killing, officials said Tuesday.

Brinkerhoff’s DNA profile matched samples from the crime scene that were processed through the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS — a database of DNA profiles from convicted offenders, unsolved crime scene evidence and missing persons, according to the Department of Justice.

After Brinkerhoff was identified as a suspect, detectives matched a photo of him to video surveillance of a man in a wheelchair arriving at the massage parlor at 12:30 p.m. on the day of the killing. The footage later showed the same man, an apparent amputee, leaving the business at about 2:25 p.m., charging documents state.

Phone records also showed Brinkerhoff had spoken to Jiao over text message before to the killing, documents state. The same records placed Brinkerhoff near the massage parlor on Jan. 4.

After the killing, Brinkerhoff went back to California, police said. His criminal history there includes possession of a dangerous weapon and assault on a police officer, investigators wrote in court documents.

When Brinkerhoff was taken into custody on Jan. 19, the arrest unfolded just outside of a California massage parlor, officials said Tuesday. He is awaiting extradition to Utah on one count of first-degree murder.

“This was a really brutal crime,” Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said during a news conference Tuesday. “These type of cases take a toll on our community. And we wanted to make sure that we did this press conference today to let the community know that there is someone in custody in this case, just to bring them a little bit of relief.”

(Jordan Miller I The Salt Lake Tribune) Midvale mayor Marcus Stevenson speaks during a news conference about the killing of Yuping Jiao with Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, left, and Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera, on Jan. 30, 2024. A California man was charged with murder Tuesday in connection with Jiao's death.