Utah man charged with killing his two roommates

A landlord in Blanding is facing charges of aggravated murder.

(San Juan County Sheriff's Office) A Blanding man has been charged with killing two men who rented rooms in his home.

A Utah man has been charged with killing two men who rented rooms in his Blanding home and have been missing since Feb. 25.

Charles Youngjuom Yoo, 35, was charged Wednesday in 7th District Court with two counts of aggravated murder, first-degree felonies, and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony.

According to the charges, Yoo is believed to have killed William “Drew” Bull, 29, and Christopher “Topher” Owens, 28, on Feb. 25. Charging documents do not indicate a motive, how the men were killed or if their bodies have been found.

The investigation began on Feb. 27, when a friend of Bull’s called police to tell them he was concerned because he could not make contact with him. The friend pointed to a “suspicious” text message that Bull’s girlfriend had received from Bull’s phone. The text message indicated that Bull “couldn’t deal” with his ex-wife — with whom he had had no contact for three years, detectives later learned — and it misspelled the ex-wife’s name. The text message also said to “tell [Owens] I’m sorry if he’s alive,” according to a probable cause statement.

Cell phone data showed that the text was sent on Feb. 27 from Yoo’s home, although Yoo later told police that Bull and Owens left the residence on Feb. 26 and he had not seen them since. According to police, Yoo was “the only person at the residence … when the text message was sent.” Yoo confirmed the text was sent from his residence and that “he knew how it was sent.”

The friend told police that when he spoke to Yoo, Yoo told him that one of his guns was missing. And Owens, who was “a consistent user of social media,” had posted nothing since Feb. 25.

When San Juan County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at Yoo’s home, at 371 E. 850 South in Blanding, he told them he saw the two men leave mid-morning on Feb. 26 in a black Dodge. However, Yoo — an auto mechanic who has “substantial knowledge about vehicles” — could provide no other details about the vehicle, including whether it was a car, a truck or an SUV. According to police, they obtained surveillance video that showed no black Dodge in the area at that time. Investigators did obtain surveillance video of Bull and Owens at a Blanding gas station at about 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 25, confirming that they safely returned from a trip to Moab.

After Yoo and the friend went to Moab to pick up Bull’s girlfriend on Feb. 27, Yoo, a “military veteran … thought it would be a good idea to tactically clear the residence for any possible threats.” The witnesses told police that one room remained locked and Yoo did not look inside it. According to the probable cause statement, “Charles was adamant that it was clear and there was no reason to enter the room.”

Yoo went out of town on March 1 and turned off the location data on his phone, according to police. But detectives, “through investigative means,” learned several locations where he traveled. According to police, when they interviewed Yoo, he “failed to provide the correct information” about where he had been.

Yoo is being held without bail in the San Juan County jail.