CRIME

Detectives ask for the public’s help in two Utah cold case murders

Nov 15, 2023, 7:01 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2023, 11:36 am

OGDEN — Detectives in Ogden are asking for the public’s help in solving the murder of a teen and a 21-year old woman that happened more than 40 years ago.

And they’re hoping a new approach to an old piece of evidence might jog some memories.

In August 1982, Joyce Tina Gallegos, 21, went missing. Eventually, her body was discovered in the Ogden River with two gunshot wounds to the head. Shortly thereafter, 14-year-old Gabriella DiStefano disappeared. Her body was found about a month later in a drainage ditch by a construction site in Harrisville.

Today, authorities are focusing in on two pieces of evidence that were found with her — a light-yellow shower curtain that the victim’s body was wrapped in, and a medium-sized white towel.

Apartment 15

They say the towel had apartment 15 written or embroidered in it. However, authorities don’t have those pieces anymore.

Still, the detectives want people to think back to any apartments or hotels that would have had those in the region, possibly even up into Idaho.

“But we want to expand everybody’s thinking to broaden that into other counties,” Det. Steve Haney, of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office said. “Think about places that they stayed, any hotels or motels in the eighties, any short term apartments that had towels in them that had the apartment number written on the towels, the towel that was found with with with Gabby’s body had in the upper right hand corner.”

Detectives do not believe that DiStefano and Gallegos knew each other, adding to the theory that the killer might have been a stranger.

“I believe that these girls were held for days on time before they were murdered,” Haney said. “And this could be significant to the case, if it even sounds familiar to any place that anybody stayed.”

Closure for families

Kristen Perkins, a second cousin of DiStefano, says she grew up hearing about the case. It occurred before Perkins was even born.

“I grew up knowing about it my whole life,” she said. “So it just kind of it’s been in the family obviously forever. But nobody, you know, nobody followed up with it.”

Today, authorities are trying to provide closure for the families.

“I still stay in contact with the families. It still means everything to them. Like it happened yesterday. They lost a loved one and everybody counts or nobody counts.”

Still, Perkins saw the impact it had on her grandfather.

“I made a promise to him before he passed that I you know, I would find out who who did this, what happened,” she said.

Gallegos’s brother, Roger, says enough is enough.

“I hope somebody does come forward and and with some kind of clue,” he said. “Something because it’s been 40 years and I’m still waiting and waiting. Waiting because all I can do is wait.”

If you have information, you are asked to reach out to the Weber County Sheriff or Weber County Attorney’s offices.

KSL 5 TV Live

Crime

People are led out from the Westfield Shopping Centre where multiple people were stabbed in Sydney,...

Rick Rycroft, The Associated Press

6 people stabbed to death at a Sydney mall, suspect fatally shot

A man stabbed six people to death at a busy Sydney shopping center Saturday before he was fatally shot, police said, with hundreds fleeing the chaotic scene, many weeping as they carried their children. Eight people, including a 9-month-old, were injured.

7 hours ago

FILE - Border Patrol station in Harlingen, Texas. (David Pike/Valley Morning Star via AP, File)Cred...

Associated Press

Amid increased enforcement in Mexico, US Border arrests fall

Arrests for illegally crossing the US border fell by 2.3% from February to March.

1 day ago

FILE: A Summit County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle. (KSL TV)...

Alexander Campbell

Multiple Summit County businesses affected by counterfeit scheme, one arrested in connection

After reports of businesses being passed counterfeit money, one man is arrested in Summit County and facing drug and forgery charges.

1 day ago

Nisha Shrestha was studying in America from her home country of Nepal when she was allegedly struck...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Organizations see outpouring for serial hit-and-run victim studying in Utah from Nepal

After being victimized by an alleged serial hit-and-run driver, local communities rally around Nepalese transfer student.

1 day ago

grand county sheriff vehicle...

Alexander Campbell

Illinois man arrested for suspicion of drug trafficking after leading Utah officers on pursuit

An Illinois man fled from police on Tuesday, turning a traffic stop into a spate of potential charges in Grand County.

1 day ago

Salt Lake City Police vehicle with lights. (SLCPD)...

Alexander Campbell

Salt Lake City officers seize money, fentanyl on Jordan River Trail

A trespassing call escalated to a seizure of multiple types of drugs and thousands of dollars of cash early Friday morning.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Detectives ask for the public’s help in two Utah cold case murders