Woman accused of killing roommate at new Utah shelter for the medically vulnerable

The Medically Vulnerable People Program Facility in Sandy opened in late December.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Medically Vulnerable People Program Facility in Sandy on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. A resident there is accused of killing her roommate Sunday.

A resident of a shelter for medically vulnerable people experiencing homelessness is accused of killing a roommate Sunday, less than six months after the facility opened.

The 62-year-old woman killed, named in a probable cause affidavit as Stephanie Lynne Hackett Carrasco, was staying at the Medically Vulnerable People Program Facility in Sandy. One of Carrasco’s two roommates woke up from a nap to find her draped in bed sheets, laying under her bed face down in a pool of blood with blunt force trauma to the back of the head.

Sandy police arrested another roommate — a 60-year-old woman — on suspicion of murder and tampering with evidence. The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name defendants unless they have been formally charged with a crime.

According to the probable cause affidavit explaining the woman’s arrest, Carrasco was seen on security footage entering the room for the last time, and cameras captured the roommate accused of killing her leaving the room 40 minutes later. The affidavit says the roommate had “her arms full of what appears to be clothing and other personal items.”

When the other roommate awoke and saw Carrasco unconscious, she reportedly called emergency medical services. Paramedics declared Carrasco dead when they arrived at the scene.

Police noticed spots of blood on a red fanny pack the accused roommate was carrying when she returned to the room. The probable cause affidavit states police had not yet searched the room, but that detectives hoped to look for an object that could have been used to cause the injuries to Carrasco’s head.

The roommate who allegedly struck and killed Carrasco declined to make a statement to police without a lawyer. It is unclear if she has retained an attorney.

She is currently being held at Salt Lake County jail and has been denied bail.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A room at the Medically Vulnerable People Program Facility in Sandy on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. A resident there is accused of killing her roommate Sunday.

The Medically Vulnerable People Program Facility is located on 9000 South near Interstate 15 in Sandy, in a former EconoLodge motel. The facility is funded by both taxpayers and philanthropy.

Michelle Flynn, the director of The Road Home — and organization that helps operate the facility — said in a statement Monday afternoon, “The events ... are tragic, our hearts are with those involved.”

“The MVP program provides a safe and supportive environment where residents can rehabilitate from illness by accessing the necessary health care and care management services to find stability to move toward permanent housing and other long-term care solutions,” Flynn continued. “We are unwavering in our commitment to safety, ensuring a welcoming and secure environment for all those who seek refuge with us. We are working closely with law enforcement and other crisis services to support residents and staff. We will continue to work with our community partners to support ongoing needs as they arise.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reported in December that the facility was designed to serve 165 people in need of specialized care, and that residents would either have their own rooms or share a room with one other person, depending on their condition. At the time of Sunday’s killing, three women were sharing a room.