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'Key witness' in death of teen found, being questioned

Published: Thursday, Aug. 30 2012 1:56 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A "key witness" in the death of a 16-year-old boy was found Thursday afternoon and was being questioned by homicide detectives.

Salt Lake City police announced Thursday morning they were looking for 33-year-old Natasha Alvarado, calling her a potential "key witness" in the homicide investigation of Kenyatta Winston. At 4 p.m., police announced they had located her and she was being questioned.

Detectives wanted to find out what Alvarado might know about the death of Winston, whose body was found in a vacant lot at 1120 E. Crandall Ave. (2900 South) Wednesday morning. The teenager had been shot. Though police have not said if the teen died of a gunshot wound, they are investigating the case as a homicide.

It is unclear why Winston, who lives in Glendale, was in the Sugar House area. He was last seen alive by his family Sunday evening.

Salt Lake City police detective Carlie Wiechman was unsure Thursday if Winston's family had reported him missing prior to his body being found.

Though the department declined to release the woman's birth date or middle name, the picture they sent Thursday in a press release matches the 2010 Salt Lake County Jail mugshot of Natasha Louise Alvarado.

Alvarado has a lengthy criminal history, according to Utah court records, including arrests for forgery, theft, identification fraud and contributing to the delinquency of a minor dating back to 1999.

Wiechman could not say Thursday what the relationship between Winston and Alvarado might have been or why investigators believe she is a key witness, calling it "case sensitive" information.

"The information that the detectives have gathered at this point leads to her having key information," Wiechman said.

The Salt Lake City School District confirmed Thursday that Winston was a student at East High School last year but was not enrolled in the district at the time of his death.

On Winston's Facebook page, it says he was a student of West High School, although a district spokesman said that was not correct.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding Winston's death to call 801-799-3000. The city's Tips for Cash program provides a reward of $5,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Those with information can also text information to CRIMES, or 274637, type the keyword "TIPSLCPD." The case number is 12-151293. Tips can remain anonymous.

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com, preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam, DNewsCrimeTeam

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