Eureka reacts to arrest of suspect accused of murdering teenage couple

Mar 30, 2018, 12:21 AM | Updated: 1:44 am

EUREKA — The town of Eureka has been on edge since the disappearance of a teenage couple in late December.

On Thursday, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said Jerrod William Baum, 41, was arrested for investigation of aggravated murder,  aggravated kidnapping, desecration of a body and witness tampering, among other charges.

Word of Baum’s arrest spread quickly in Eureka. Baum lived just about four miles down the road in Mammoth.

On Wednesday, investigators recovered two bodies from the Tintic Standard Mine outside of Eureka. While they are still awaiting the results from the Medical Examiner’s Office, officials believe the bodies are those of 18-year-old Riley Powell and 17-year-old Breezy Otteson.

For three months, there’s been a cross-county search for the couple. They were last seen in Mammoth on December 30, and never arrived home.

According to a probable cause statement filed with Baum’s arrest, after multiple interviews, Baum’s girlfriend Morgan Henderson told police that Baum had tied up the couple, drove them to a mine, killed them with a knife, and dumped their bodies.

Police used Facebook messages to connect the couple to Henderson. According to the PC statement, she and the couple had met up the night the teens went missing.

Baum has a lengthy criminal including felony convictions for theft, aggravated assault, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.

RELATEDMan accused of murdering teenage couple had extensive criminal history

The Utah County Sheriff said multiple arrests have been made in this case. KSL will have more information as it becomes available.

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Eureka reacts to arrest of suspect accused of murdering teenage couple