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Court docs: Men arrested for Kearns High School student murder connected to 3 shootings

Neko Jardine.png
The three men arrested in connection to the murder of Neko Jardine were also connected to three other shootings across the Salt Lake Valley, court documents stated. (File Photo: KUTV)

The three men arrested in connection to the murder of Neko Jardine were also connected to three other shootings across the Salt Lake Valley, court documents stated.

West Valley City Police released the names of the suspects arrested for the murder of the Kearns High School student-athlete on Thursday: Jose Joel Nunez-Perez, 18, Arnol Francisco Perez-Zelaya, 21, and Luis Sebastian-Enciso, 19.

On July 14, Jardine was shot and killed while two other victims were shot and wounded at a West Valley residence, where forensic examination revealed that two separate handguns were used in the homicide.

A suspect vehicle was captured on security video and police released photos of the car on July 17. Further investigation found that the vehicle exactly matched a red 2006-2011 Toyota Camry SE with six-spoke silver rims.

According to the probable cause statements from all suspects, through forensic techniques, the casings found at the scene were also connected to shootings that occurred in three different areas and dates in the Salt Lake Valley:

  1. Aug. 24 - West Valley City
  2. Aug. 25 - Salt Lake City
  3. Sept. 14 - Sandy City

All incidents were linked using the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network: a database that captures, stores and correlates digital images of spent cartridge casings recovered from the crime scene and from tested firearms.

Through search warrants obtained on electronic devices and digital accounts, it was found that Perez-Zelaya had gone to the home of Nunez-Perez and Sebastian-Enciso on the night of the August shootings.

The suspect's vehicle - a red 2007 Toyota Camry SE - was found to have identical features to the suspect vehicle connected to Jardine's homicide, but it appeared to have black spray-painted rims and that the rims were painted about 10 days after the homicide based on digital evidence, according to the probable cause statements.

Nunez-Perez's family identified the car to have belonged to him and was known to be its only driver, and that he owned clothing that matched a suspect's description of Jardine's homicide. When asked about the vehicle, Nunez-Perez no longer wished to speak with the police.

Perez-Zelaya was arrested on a warrant for a drug arrest and admitted to police that he was present at the shooting on Aug. 25, but claimed that he was not the shooter. Also, digital evidence found that he at the location of all three shootings.

Witnesses of the Aug. 24 incident identified Sebastian-Enciso as a suspect and was reported to have assaulted the victim in the confines of the victim's garage. After a warrant was issued on Sebastian-Enciso's home - reported to have been only a block away from the scene of the murder - police found a stolen handgun in his bedroom.


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