Convicted serial killer charged with murder of Utah woman in 1998

Jun 14, 2024, 11:14 AM | Updated: 7:14 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A man, who is a convicted serial killer, has been charged with aggravated murder for the death of a woman in 1998.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced that 57-year-old Chester Turner would be charged for the murder of Itisha Camp. 

On Sept. 24, 1998, three juveniles flagged down a Salt Lake City police officer after they found a body behind a business at 165 East and 900 South in Salt Lake City.

Camp had a scarf around her neck when she was found and the medical examiner determined that Camp died of strangulation.

Investigators found biological evidence on Camp’s clothing and DNA was located on the scarf tied around Camp’s neck. The DNA was entered into the Combined DNA Index System and a match was found to Turner.

“The victim in this matter who was in a state of undress, who had been subsequently determined to be strangled,” Gill said.

Upon further investigation, detectives discovered that Turner was on parole in California in 1998 and absconded to Utah. Officers were able to locate a report where Turner was the victim of an assault in Salt Lake City in 1998.

“In fact, there was a police report that was found where he was the alleged victim. So we were able to both identify his physical presence here as well as subsequently his DNA,” Gill said.

Prosecutors say Camp was sexually assaulted. They linked Turner to the crime through DNA evidence found on her pants.

So why did it take 26 years for a charge to come? Gill said in 2013, the DNA was entered incorrectly into a database. That error was corrected last year.

“We screened it when the DNA hit identified the alleged suspect. Prior to that, there was a clerical error in uploading the information in 2013 when submitted by law enforcement. It was uploaded Correctly in 2023,” Gill’s office said.

He hopes that today, Camp’s family and the community can get closure.

“When we have an unsolved homicide that goes cold. It leaves a vacuum within our community because not only to the family of the loved ones who have been murdered, but to our community at large,” he said. “Because we don’t know who this person is who committed this crime, by identifying and finally filing charges, we help to maybe bring that victim some closure.”

Turner has been convicted of 14 other murders in California and is incarcerated there. Turner was convicted of 10 murders in 2007, and an additional 4 murders in 2014, all of whom were women. The 14 murders took place in Los Angeles County, CA.

“It must have been profoundly difficult for Ms. Camp’s family and loved ones over the last 25 years, not knowing if the suspect in her murder was still out in the public. We hope the filing of this charge brings some relief to Ms. Camp’s loved ones and our entire community, knowing that the defendant is already behind bars,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said. “We appreciate the dedicated work of Salt Lake City police detectives who pursued this cold case until the necessary investigative work had been done that could lead to this charge being filed. All persons accused of wrongdoing are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.”

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Convicted serial killer charged with murder of Utah woman in 1998