Third teen arrested in Taylorsville homicide investigation

Mar 21, 2024, 1:55 PM | Updated: 2:24 pm

FILE: Taylorsville police vehicle. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)...

FILE: Taylorsville police vehicle. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

TAYLORSVILLE — A third teenager was arrested in connection to the death of a Taylorsville man whose body was found in the desert of Utah County. 

According to Taylorsville Police Department, a 17-year-old boy was taken into custody early Thursday morning.

The boy, along with a 15-year-old boy and another 17-year-old boy are accused in the death of 21-year-old Alexzia “Alex” Franco.

UPDATE: Taylorsville man believed to be abducted, found dead

Franco was believed to be abducted from his Taylorsville neighborhood on Sunday and multiple witnesses reported hearing a gunshot as a white vehicle sped away.

On Tuesday, Franco’s body was found in Utah County with a single gunshot wound.

The three were booked into the Salt Lake Valley Detention Center this week on multiple felony charges related to the homicide investigation.

Investigators believe Franco was talking with one of the three teens about buying a gun. When the three boys showed up for a meeting, they intended to rob Franco of the money that was to be used to purchase the gun.

According to the release from police, “Detectives said the group met near the victim’s home in the area of 3800 W. 5700 South, where Franco entered the suspects’ vehicle, a white Jeep Liberty. It is believed that during the robbery, inside the vehicle, an altercation ensued, and Franco was fatally shot once by one of the teenagers involved.”

Following the shooting, the three immediately drove to the desert area in Utah County, where they disposed of Franco’s body, investigators said.

“Through their investigation, detectives found no evidence of this case being gang-related, drug-related or involving any type of a hate crime. They also thanked the public for helping them find the white Jeep involved in the crime,” the release stated.

Detectives asked for the public’s help in locating the vehicle on Sunday, and after finding the vehicle on Monday, further investigation led investigators to the three suspects that are now in custody.

“We are grateful for the diligent investigative work by our detectives in helping to resolve this case with the speed in which they did,” Taylorsville police chief, Brady Cottam, said “We also greatly appreciate the public’s assistance and the awareness of witnesses and their quick reporting of this crime. We hope that the resolution of the investigation will bring some peace and comfort to those close to the victim, family and friends.”

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Third teen arrested in Taylorsville homicide investigation