Some Big Blanks in Killing of Utah Student Found in Canyon

Authorities trying to figure out how man recently jailed in Alabama ended up in Utah
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 1, 2017 3:36 AM CDT
Cops: Carjacker Killed University of Utah Student
This undated photo provided by the Salt Lake County Sheriff's office shows Kathleen Boutain, who is wanted along with her husband, Austin Boutain, in a homicide in Golden, Colo., last week.   (Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Authorities are trying to figure out how a longtime criminal recently released from an Alabama prison ended up in a Utah canyon where he's suspected of killing a 23-year-old devout Mormon immigrant from China. ChenWei Guo, who came to the US in 2012, was studying computer science at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Friends say Guo smiled easily, loved to dance, and could be found trekking canyons around Salt Lake City, like the one where his body was found Monday night, the AP reports. Police found Guo's body still in his vehicle in a canyon just east of campus, prompting a campus-wide lockdown and a massive overnight manhunt at the school and in the rugged foothills nearby. Austin Boutain, who is suspected of shooting Guo to death after demanding his car, surrendered without incident Tuesday afternoon at a city library several miles away.

Police did not have details Tuesday about how Boutain encountered Guo and later evaded hundreds of officers who swarmed the campus after the shooting. Boutain, 24, has a rap sheet that includes drug, car theft, and weapons charges in Minnesota and Alabama. He was paroled in May after serving a year and a half in an Alabama prison for being a convicted sex offender and failing to report his whereabouts to police. Boutain and his wife are wanted for questioning in the killing of a 63-year-old Golden, Colo., man whose truck is missing but which authorities say Boutain may have driven to Utah. Kathleen Boutain was jailed in Utah on unrelated drug and theft charges after she reported to police Monday night that her husband had assaulted her while they were camping in the canyon.

(More Utah stories.)

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