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Front Page » July 11, 2002 » Local News » Helper police apprehend murder, burglary suspects
Published 4,436 days ago

Helper police apprehend murder, burglary suspects


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By LYNNDA JOHNSON
Sun Advocate editor

Helper police department's manhunt for two Nevada teens suspected of burglarizing a home and fleeing the scene in a local resident's truck concluded Tuesday when Colorado authorities apprehended the pair.

Discussing the alleged July 8 criminal incident, Helper Police Chief George Zamantakis indicated city law enforcement officers responded to a burglary and vehicle theft after public safety dispatch at approximately 7:15 a.m.

Arriving at the Robert Farrell residence on 2nd Avenue, Helper police officers determined a subject or subjects had apparently gained unlawful access into the private residence.

The individual or individuals purportedly removed several items from the home and left the private residence in a 1997 Ford extended cab pickup truck belonging to a member of the Farrell family.

Helper law enforcement officials promptly launched an investigation into the matter and, based on the preliminary evidence, identified two individuals assisting with the fire-fighting efforts in Price Canyon as suspects in the burglary and theft incident, pointed out Zamantakis.

The teenagers, prisoners from a Las Vegas juvenile detention facility, had failed to return to the Sally Mauro command center on the last day of the fire.

Local law enforcement investigators immediately issued an attempt to locate on the two teenage subjects and listed the missing vehicle with the national crime information network, continued the Helper police chief.

On July 9, Kit Carson police officers spotted the Ford pickup at Burlington near the Colorado-Kansas border and arrested the suspects, 16-year-old Howard Grissom and 18-year-old Nathan Madrid.

The teens face criminal prosecution on second degree felony burglary and theft of a motor vehicle charges stemming from the July 8 incident.

Local investigators have also collected evidence appearing to link Grissom and Madrid to two attempted residential burglaries in Helper, revealed Zamantakis.

According to the Helper police chief, law enforcement authorities intend to secure an extradition warrant on the 18-year-old Madrid and process the burglary-vehicle theft suspect through the local adult criminal justice system.

Nevada officials plan to transport the 16-year-old Grissom back to the juvenile detention center in Las Vegas, added Zamantakis. Local authorities intend to refer the youth to 7th District Juvenile Court on second degree felony burglary and vehicle theft charges.

In addition to the burglary-vehicle theft incident, the Helper law enforcement agency responded to an attempt to locate broadcast shortly after midnight on July 8 and apprehended the male subject wanted in connection with a homicide in Spanish Fork.

Helper police personnel noticed a red truck registered to the murder suspect in the parking area at Swift's, confirmed Zamantakis.

The male subject reportedly entered the convenience store while the officers maintained surveillance and waited for backup support.

When the man exited Swift's, law enforcement personnel from the Helper and Price city police departments along with the Carbon County Sheriff's Office arrested the homicide suspect, 31-year-old Robert Hatch.

Spanish Fork police, accompanied by Utah County sheriff's deputies, arrived in Helper later on Monday and assumed custody of the subject along with Hatch's vehicle.

Utah Valley law enforcement personnel returned to Swift's and conducted a second search of the premises on Tuesday, added Zamantakis. Hatch is suspected of killing his wife during a domestic violence episode.

"I encourage Carbon County residents to keep the doors to their homes and vehicles locked 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year," emphasized the Helper police chief.

Remaining on constant alert and reporting suspicious activities to local law enforcement agencies play a crucial role in preventing crimes, stressed Zamantakis.

In addition, the Helper police chief stressed the fact that law-abiding and concerned citizens should expand the vigilance to encompass not only immediate neighborhoods, but traffic traveling on public highways and strangers stopping at locations across the county.

"People passing through the area are committing serious crimes or are wanted in connection with serious crimes. It is important for people to secure their homes and vehicles," concluded Zamantakis.


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