The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office has charged a Wellington man with first degree criminal homicide in connection with the 1991 shooting death of a Burns Security guard.
Filed Sept. 20 in 3rd District Court, the felony level complaint contends that 37-year-old Dale B. Bradley intentionally engaged in criminal conduct creating a grave risk to human life and causing the death of Bryan Ruff in December 1991.
In addition to facing prosecution on the first degree murder charge in Salt Lake County, Bradley remains a person of interest in an ongoing investigation into a local homicide incident.
On April 30, 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 27-year-old Crystal Carpenter Bradley, was the victim of a homicide.
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.
"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.
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.
The formal criminal complaint filed in the 3rd District Count contains the lead investigator's probable cause statement supporting the first degree homicide charge.
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 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.
Criminal investigators collected paint chips from the murder suspect's car and logged the samples into the evidence file in 1991.
Ruff's body was found buried in a shallow grave at Five Mile Pass in Utah County on July 10, 1993.
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 on July 11, 1993.
Investigators discovered a three-inch scuff of paint on the bottom of the victim's boot.
Laboratory tests indicated that the paint on Ruff's boot matched the samples collected from Bradley's damaged vehicle in 1991.
Salt Lake investigators found fresh soil consistent with traveling on dirt roads similar to the trails in Five Mile Pass 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.
On Wednesday, the 3rd District Court rescheduled Bradley's initial appearance in the first degree felony level criminal homicide complaint on Sept. 22.
Addressing the status of the local murder investigation, Chief Deputy Guy Adams indicated that the Carbon County Sheriff's Office expected to receive the results of the state crime lab tests in the immediate future.
"Dale Bradley is the prime suspect in the murder," indicated Adams. "Circumstantially, the evidence appears to point in his direction. But physical evidence is required before charges will be filed."