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Man sent to prison in Roy backyard body case

Published: Thursday, Nov. 7 2013 5:50 p.m. MST

Daniel Rivera signs his name, agreeing on the manslaughter and desecration of a human body charges, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 in Judge Ernie Jones' courtroom in Ogden.

Dylan Brown

ROY — A man accused of burying a body in the backyard of his girlfriend's Roy home has been sentenced to serve up to 20 years behind bars.

Daniel Rivera Jr., 33, was sentenced Thursday to one to 15 years in prison for manslaughter, a second-degree felony, in the death of 25-year-old Victor Flores. Rivera was also sentenced to up to five years for desecration of a body after Flores' body was unearthed in the backyard of a house where Rivera sometimes lived.

The woman who owns the house, Sarah Munn, 33, was charged in February with obstruction of justice in the case. That charge was later dismissed.

Rivera is the father of three of Munn's children and lived with her part time.

Flores was a friend of Rivera and had traveled to Utah to visit him a few times, Roy Police Lt. Danny Hammon said.

Flores was last seen with Rivera on May 9, 2011, and was considered missing until his body was discovered and identified almost a year later. Rivera later told prosecutors the two were driving together when they got in a fight near a Roy car wash and Rivera stabbed Flores in what he called self-defense, Hammon said.

Flores died of a single stab wound to the chest that lacerated his heart, Hammon said.

That same day, Rivera sustained a laceration to his face requiring 35 stitches, according to court documents. Munn told police Rivera was cut in a road rage incident, and later changed her story to say she had caused the wound herself.

Two days later, Rivera rented a backhoe and used it to dig a hole in Munn's backyard, 3812 W. 4550 South, which was witnessed by several neighbors, court documents state. Munn told police Rivera dug the hole in order to install a ground-level trampoline, but later filled the hole back in because it was the wrong size.

After serving a search warrant in February 2012 and digging for three days, police located Flores' body buried in Rivera's previous excavation site.

Flores' sentences will run consecutively, a 2nd District judge ruled on Thursday. However, they will run concurrent with a sentence of up to five years Rivera is already serving for escaping from official custody in August 2011.

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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