Carbon looks at possible charges while local man will go on trial in Salt Lake
In September of last year the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office charged a Wellington man with first degree criminal homicide in connection with the 1991 shooting death of a Burns Security guard.
Last week Third District Judge Judith Atherton ordered that based on the evidence the county had collected, 37-year-old Dale B. Bradley should be tried for the murder of Bryan Ruff, a slaying that took place in 1991.
In addition to facing prosecution on the first degree murder charge in Salt Lake County, Bradley is now, according to Captain Guy Adams of the Carbon County Sheriff's Department "the prime suspect" in the murder of Crystal Carpenter Bradley, who was reportedly stabbed to death last year.
On April 30, 2005, the public safety dispatch center in Price broadcast an emergency message reporting the discovery of a body in an unincorporated area in close proximity to 600 East Main in Wellington.
Local law enforcement personnel responded to the location shortly after 7:49 a.m. and the initial investigation conducted by the Carbon County Sheriff's Office determined that the woman, identified as the 27-year-old, was the victim of a homicide.
The local law enforcement officials secured the murder scene before entering the Crystal and Dale Bradley Jr. residence to complete a routine check of the premises, pointed out Carbon Sheriff James Cordova after the murder.
After finding a suspected controlled substance and drug paraphernalia inside the home, the local authorities arrested and booked Bradley into the Carbon County Jail on drug-related charges. He was later released from custody after posting $5,000 in bail.
In conjunction with the local murder investigation, Carbon law enforcement officials contacted the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office for information regarding the extent and/or nature of Bradley's alleged involvement in the 14-year-old unsolved Kennecott security guard homicide case.
Based on information voluntarily provided by a number of local citizens, criminal investigators from the Carbon County and Salt Lake County law enforcement agencies obtained a warrant to conduct a second search of the Bradley residence at the time.
"The second search proved to be valuable, with items found at the scene making Dale Bradley Jr. a definite person of interest in the homicide investigation," indicated the Sheriff Cordova after the investigation had begun.
At the same time Salt Lake County was moving along with the evidence they had gathered.
"Carbon County investigators contacted me about the circumstances involving Bradley and I started reading through the case file," indicated Detective Todd Park during an interview on Sept. 21, 2005.
While reviewing the evidence, the Salt Lake detective noticed the paint samples collected from the murder victim's boot and Bradley's vehicle in 1991.
A forensics laboratory in Washington analyzed the samples and the results indicated that paint from Ruff's boot matched the chips from the suspect's car, explained Park.
Armed with a court-issued warrant and assisted by Carbon law enforcement representatives, the Salt Lake detective arrested Bradley on the first degree criminal homicide charge on Sept. 20, 2005.
Based on the evidence obtained from interviews with witnesses and the defendant, Todd stated that:
Ruff disappeared from a Kennecott security guard shack at approximately 7 p.m. on or about Dec. 10, 1991. A fellow Burns Security employee at the time, Bradley reportedly told police and several witnesses he suspected Ruff of having an affair with his first wife. The defendant purportedly admitted to visiting the co-worker's shack on the date in question.
The defendant reportedly made conflicting statements regarding his whereabouts before and after the established time of Ruff's disappearance. Ruff's body was found buried in a shallow grave at Five Mile Pass in Utah County on July 10, 1993.
At that time law enforcement personnel recovered the victim's security guard uniform, coat, wallet and jewelry at the scene. A canine unit located one of Ruff's cowboy boots approximately 200 feet from the burial site near Fairfield the next day.
Salt Lake investigators found fresh soil consistent with traveling on dirt roads similar to the trails in Five Mile Pass (which is where the body was located) on the outside and undercarriage of the defendant's car following Ruff's disappearance. Bradley purportedly claimed to have traveled on paved roads before returning to his home at approximately 11 p.m. on Dec. 10, 1991.
After Ruff's body was discovered in 1993, the defendant allegedly told his former wife, Kristi Bradley, that the victim had been shot five times with a .22 caliber weapon - information never released to the public by investigators. The state medical examiner's autopsy identified five gunshots to the back as the cause of Ruff's death. Five .22 caliber projectiles were recovered from the homicide victim's body. In addition, Salt Lake County investigators recovered five .22 shell casings at the scene of the murder victim's shallow grave. The state crime lab confirmed that one weapon fired all five projectiles.
As for the investigation into the murder in Carbon County, the sheriff's office says that as of now the investigation is complete. On Friday afternoon Captain Adams indicated that the Carbon County Sheriff's Office had had one detective investigating the death of Crystal Bradley almost full time ever since the murder occurred. He said despite reports in many places that Bradley was still just a person of interest, that status has now changed.
"As far as we are concerned he is the prime suspect in the murder," indicated Adams. "We just recently turned the case over to the county attorney."
It now appears that any court action toward determining if Bradley was involved in the April 2005 murder will have to wait for the judicial process in Salt Lake County to end.