Father Of Murdered Orem Woman Speaks Out
OREM, Utah – The father of an Orem woman who was killed along with her 3-year-old son spoke out for the first time, expressing the heartbreak he felt knowing his daughter was gone.
For nearly four years, Jesse Quijano held out hope that his 23-year-old daughter Emily Quijano and her son Gabriel Almiron would be found alive after being reported missing in September 2015.
Their remains were uncovered Sept. 6 by detectives about 5 miles south of the city of Eureka in Juab County.
“There was no hope anymore,” said Jesse Quijano from his California home Thursday. “I was extremely sad because it brought it home finally that they were truly gone.”
Quijano said he was informed the remains were found in Eureka on Friday.
“Her skeletal remains showed that she had a bullet wound,” Quijano said. “For a father, that’s really hard.”
Last month, the Orem Police Department announced 30-year-old Christopher Poulson agreed to lead detectives to the remains as part of a unique plea bargain after Poulson admitted in court to killing the two four years ago.
“What I’m gathering is that he had just told them the area,” Quijano said. ”For the past month, I believe [they] were searching that whole area and finally found them. I don’t believe that he pinpointed the spot.”
Orem Police Chief Gary Giles said detectives found the remains about two miles from the original spot Poulson had indicated, in a search effort that included assistance from the Juab County Sheriff’s Office, FBI and the Juab County Search and Rescue Team.
“During these efforts, the Juab County Search and Rescue Team came across what they believed to be a shallow grave in an area about five miles south of the city of Eureka,” Orem police said in a Facebook post.
Quijano said he had a hard time coming to terms with a plea deal that could potentially lower Poulson’s sentence, but knew it might have been the only way to recover the remains.
“I was against it from the beginning – it just does not make sense to me that someone who has taken my babies away from me should now be calling the shots, should now be trying to negotiate,” Quijano said. “I mean, you beat a 3-year-old baby boy to death, you cowardly shot a sleeping beautiful young girl and now you want a deal? No.”
Going forward, Quijano hoped Poulson will be more forthcoming.
“If he wants any kind of deal, tell the whole story,” Quijano said. “This guy has just changed my life completely, my life will never be the same. I miss them so badly.”
Poulson faces 16 years-to-life in prison, but prosecutors said they will ask a judge to allow him to plead to lesser charges after leading authorities to Emily Quijano and Almiron’s remains. That could open the door to a lesser sentence.
He could also retract his plea and plead guilty to lesser charges, although a judge has said he will not commit to that deal.
Poulson is expected to be sentenced on Sept. 26.
A GoFundMe account has also been created* to help cover the Quijano family’s travel expenses from San Bernardino, California, to Utah for court proceedings.
*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.