Homeless man arrested for rape, murder

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 22 2010 11:17 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A homeless man questioned by police on Wednesday for his involvement in an alleged rape at Pioneer Park, was later booked into jail not only for investigation of the rape, but also for the murder of woman whose body was found in a restroom at Fairmont Park on Saturday.

Response to media reports released Tuesday led to the arrest of 30-year-old Paul David Vara, who was located and taken into custody near Trolley Square at about 11 a.m. on Wednesday, said Salt Lake City police Det. Pat Wilkinson. While a motive for either crime remains unknown, he said police "are grateful to get this guy off the streets."

"Anytime an individual like this is out committing any type of crime as violent as a sexual assault, as violent as anything like that, its good to get him off the street," Wilkinson said.

Vara is believed to have raped a woman at Pioneer Park on Dec. 14. On Saturday, Dec. 18, officials believe Vara met up with, raped and killed Kristine Marie Gabel, 45, who was also homeless at the time.

Wilkinson would not release any details about the murder but said "it was a very brutal homicide."

Vara was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of homicide, two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of object rape.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS