Sandy homeless shelter resident jailed on suspicion of killing roommate

May 27, 2024, 10:38 AM

A resident of a homeless shelter in Sandy has been jailed on suspicion of murder in the death of a ...

A resident of a homeless shelter in Sandy has been jailed on suspicion of murder in the death of a roommate. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SANDY — A resident of a homeless shelter in Sandy has been jailed on suspicion of murder in the death of a roommate at the Medically Vulnerable People Program Facility.

Laura Northrup, 60, was being held as of Monday morning at the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of murder and tampering with evidence in the death early Sunday of Stephanie Lynne Hackett Carrasco, 62, according to a probable cause affidavit in the case.

Hackett Carrasco had arrived at the room she shares with Northrup and a third woman at the Sandy shelter around 12:41 a.m. on Sunday, according to the affidavit, which cites video footage. She reentered the room at 1:02 a.m. and Northrup was seen on video leaving the room at 1:57 a.m. “with her arms full of what appears to be clothing and other personal items,” according to the affidavit prepared by the Sandy Police Department.

Hackett Carrasco’s body wasn’t discovered until later Sunday afternoon, after a third roommate, who had arrived around noon Sunday, discovered her body following a nap.

The third roommate “entered the room at approximately (noon) today when she said she took a nap and did not see Stephanie until she woke up,” reads the affidavit, written Sunday. The third roommate “said that Stephanie was face down and mostly underneath her own bed. (The roommate) then called for EMS.”

Later Sunday, Northrup returned to the facility, but didn’t talk to authorities. Police found blood between the beds of Northrup and Hackett Carrasco and on the frame of the main door into their room. “Spots of blood were also found on a red fanny pack-style bag that Laura was holding when she returned to the room,” according to the affidavit.

The Medically Vulnerable People Program Facility at 8955 S. 255 West in Sandy, formerly an Econolodge motel, provides housing and medical care “to seniors, veterans and the medically frail who are experiencing homelessness,” according to a description on the website of Shelter the Homeless, an advocacy group for homeless people.

The Sandy facility, relatively new, received the green light from Sandy officials last October to occupy the site. According to Shelter the Homeless data, the facility — operated by The Road Home and Fourth Street Clinic, which also aid the homeless — can house up to 165 people. Road Home and Fourth Street Clinic representatives couldn’t be immediately reached for comment on Monday.

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Sandy homeless shelter resident jailed on suspicion of killing roommate