Orem man arrested for murder of girlfriend with children in home

May 10, 2022, 1:36 PM | Updated: 2:44 pm
FILE photo...
FILE photo

OREM, Utah — An Orem man was arrested after his girlfriend’s seemingly violent domestic-violence death that police say took place hours before anyone called 9-1-1 on Monday evening.

Luis Manuel Vargas Lopez, 27, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree felony murder, domestic violence in the presence of a child and obstruction of justice.

Police attempted life-saving measures on the victim, noticing “significant injuries to her face and a puncture wound above her left eyebrow,” according to an affidavit of probable cause court documents from Utah County. Emergency medical personnel arrived at a duplex on 185 West in Orem and pronounced the woman dead.

Police spoke with two men at the home, Lopez and a friend who called 911.

According to documents, Lopez told interviewers contradicting stories about how his girlfriend of six years, with whom he has two children, was injured and said he didn’t know how the injuries happened. He told investigators he had gone for a walk for more than three hours and returned to find the injured victim with a pulse and started chest compressions but did not call 911 for help.

Lopez said he tried to revive her with water and performed CPR and that she revived long enough to ask to speak with her children and give them a kiss. When told by investigators that parts of his story were contradictory or didn’t match other evidence “Luis changed what he was saying.”

He admitted he had not walked but had driven a vehicle to a gas station and then said the victim never regained consciousness or talked to him. A neighbor’s doorbell camera showed that he left his home around 2:30 p.m. and returned 12 minutes later and had not left home otherwise.

The suspect’s friend told police he spoke to Lopez at approximately 11 a.m. about a job in Pleasant Grove and then called him again around 2 p.m. because he had not shown up to the job.

He said Lopez called him at 8:22 p.m. requesting help. The friend arrived at the home six minutes later. When he went inside, he found Lopez performing CPR on the victim and asked the friend to switch out because he was tired.

“The friend told investigators that he recognized that she had been dead for some time and refused to assist,” court documents state. “The friend instead took the two children out of the house and called emergency dispatch.”

Police responded to the emergency call at approximately 8:29 p.m., documents state.

An investigator for the medical examiner arrived later and said the body was in a state of full rigor mortis. “This process takes around 12 hours to set in,” documents state.

The medical examiner investigator arrived at about 4 a.m. and put the time of death at approximately 4 p.m., 4.5 hours before the friend called emergency services when he arrived to help.

“The puncture wound on the head of the victim is believed to be part of a broken skull. When pressure was put on the wound, the entire area around it collapsed inward,” documents state.

Police said there was bruising on Lopez’ hands who claimed he hit them on the counter while moving the injured victim. Both of the victim’s eyes were swollen and bruised  and Lopez said it was because the victim would punch herself in the face.

He did admit to police they argued on Monday but it had lasted just a few minutes and said the fight ended when the children were knocking on a door and Lopez said he left the residence.

Police requested Luis be held without bail since he was in the United States on a work visa, now expired, and it is believed he would flee if released.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Air Force Thunderbirds...
Merri Moeller, KSL TV

WATCH LIVE: Warriors Over The Wasatch 

After a four-year break, the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show is back at Hill Air Force Base.
15 hours ago
FILE (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)...
Merri Moeller, KSL TV

Body found at Millcreek Walmart, police investigating

Unified Police Department said they were investigating Friday after a body was found at a Walmart.
15 hours ago
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hea...

‘Mitt Romney Republican’ is now a potent GOP primary attack

Mitt Romney isn't up for reelection this year. But Trump-aligned Republicans hostile toward the Utah senator have made his name a recurring theme in this year's primaries, using him as a foil and derisively branding their rivals “Mitt Romney Republicans."
15 hours ago
Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department that shows them talking with Brian Laundrie is seen...
Jamiel Lynch and Chenelle Woody, CNN

Lawyer releases pages from Brian Laundrie’s notebook in which he admits to killing Gabby Petito

The attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie on Friday released eight pages from Laundrie's notebook that was found near his remains in Florida in October last year, according to a news release obtained by CNN affiliate WINK.
15 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Two members of USU Aviation program killed in plane crash

Two people died Friday morning in a small airplane crash in Cache County.
2 days ago
Chris Jensen and Chris Wharton have been married for six years....
Mike Anderson

LGBTQ+ community concerned Supreme Court could revisit same-sex marriage

An opinion filed by Justice Clarence Thomas has some people concerned over whether the Supreme Court could reconsider other past rulings, including same-sex marriage and contraception.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Orem man arrested for murder of girlfriend with children in home