CRIME

Second man pleads guilty to kidnapping, murder of Kearns woman in 2021

Jun 21, 2024, 2:54 PM | Updated: 6:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A second man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering Nicole Solario-Romero, a woman whose abduction near her Kearns home in 2021 was caught on a doorbell camera. Her body was later found in Tooele County.

Jorge Rafael Medina-Reyes, 25, pleaded guilty Thursday to murder, a first-degree felony, and aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony.

On Feb. 6, 2021, Medina-Reyes and Orlando Tobar forced Solario-Romero, 25, of Kearns, at gunpoint into a vehicle, and then took her into a West Valley residence at knifepoint, according to a statement from the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.

While she was in the house, Medina-Reyes shot her once in the head and then Tobar shot her a second time, the statement says. Prosecutors say Tobar and Christian Morales transported her body, wrapped in plastic bags, and left it on the side of a road in Tooele County.

She sent a video message to a friend saying two men were forcing her from her phone, court documents say, and witnesses saw her being forced into a vehicle. It was months before her body was found.

Suspect accused of kidnapping, killing Kearns woman pleads guilty

Tobar told police Solorio-Romero owed Carolina Marquez money, and that she “knew too much.”

“Our hearts mourn for the loss of Nicole. We hope that this outcome can help bring about peace and closure for her family. Violence of this nature will not be tolerated in our community, and we will do everything we can to deliver justice,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.

Medina-Reyes was initially charged with aggravated murder, a capital offense, although prosecutors had said they did not intend to seek the death penalty. The charge was reduced as part of a plea deal, and a charge for obstructing justice, a first-degree felony, was dismissed.

Orlando Tobar, who police say fired the second shot, pleaded guilty on May 24 to the same charges and with the same plea deal as Medina-Reyes. They are both scheduled to be sentenced on July 23.

Christian Morales, 29, pleaded guilty to obstructing justice, a class A misdemeanor on June 7. The charge was reduced from a first-degree felony as a result of a plea deal that also dismissed a charge for desecration of a human body, a third-degree felony. He was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended in favor of 24 years of probation.

Carolina Marquez, 42, and Fernando Marquez, 24, are charged with murder, aggravated kidnapping and obstructing justice, all first-degree felonies.

Carolina Marquez is also charged with abuse or desecration of a human body, a third-degree felony. She is scheduled for a hearing on July 2.

Ivan Jesus Acosta, 30, is charged with obstructing justice, a first-degree felony, and desecration of a human body, a third-degree felony. His next hearing is scheduled in October, on the same date as the next hearing for Fernando Marquez.

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Second man pleads guilty to kidnapping, murder of Kearns woman in 2021