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2 men charged in case of teen's body cut up and hidden in suitcase

Published: Thursday, Jan. 28 2016 11:00 p.m. MST

Police say 18-year-old Kelly Myers, of Grand Junction, Colorado, died in a hotel in West Valley City while she was visiting Utah in December 2014. Criminal charges were filed Thursday against two men in the case.

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Criminal charges were filed Thursday against two men in the case of a Colorado teenager whose body was cut up and hidden in a suitcase after she apparently overdosed at a West Valley hotel in 2014.

Raymond Cordova, 48, of Grand Junction, Colorado, and Eduardo Nasario Delacruz, 31, of West Valley City, were charged in 3rd District Court with abuse or desecration of a dead human body, a second-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a third-degree felony.

The two men and a third man, identified only as D.W. and who is considered a witness in the case, met inside a room at the Country Inn and Suites in West Valley City on Dec. 19, 2014, and discussed a plan for getting rid of the body of 18-year-old Kelly Myers, charging documents state.

The Grand Junction woman was last seen by her family the day before, when she informed them she was going to Utah for a birthday party, West Valley police said last year. Her body was found on Feb. 28, 2015, inside a suitcase in a hiking area known as Cactus Park, more than 40 miles southeast of Grand Junction.

Myers' autopsy found she likely died from a "mixed drug intoxication" several weeks before she was found. Police say Cordova disposed of her body on Christmas Day by leaving the suitcase in a ravine.

Cordova proposed that the men "cut the body up and put it in a duffel bag or suitcase," charging documents state. The other two men said they wouldn't help him cut up the body, but allegedly said they would get him the supplies he needed to do it himself.

Delacruz and D.W. bought an electric saw, plastic sheets, gloves, masks, cleaning solution and a suitcase and gave them to Cordova, according to police. The electric saw "would be too loud," Cordova told the others, and he asked them to bring him a handsaw, the charges state.

"The (saw) you got is a very loud one. I know once I start it up it will bring nothing but problems." "What happened to the saw?" and "I'm trying to do the job but you aren't helping me out," are messages Cordova wrote on Facebook to Delacruz on Dec. 21, 2014, charging documents allege.

Myers suffered "incised wounds of both upper thighs which extended to the femurs" at some point after she died, according to the charges.

Another man identified only as J.G., who is identified as a witness in court documents, was in the car with Cordova as he visited Cactus Park to dispose of Myers' body, according to police.

"J.G. stated Cordova told him it was Kelly Myers and that she had overdosed in a hotel in Utah. J.G. stated Cordova told him that he had to cut Kelly's legs in order to fit her body into a suitcase and requested J.G.'s assistance," the charges state.

Cordova allegedly used Delacruz's car to drive to the Cactus Park area. Police say Delacruz directed Cordova to discard Myers' body somewhere between Salt Lake City and Grand Junction.

The birthday party Myers apparently planned to attend was for Delacruz's girlfriend, but the party turned into "an impromptu wedding" between him and his girlfriend, court documents state. Police say Cordova and Myers were conspicuously absent at both the party and the wedding.

"Delacruz decided to get married that same day so that he would have an alibi," charging documents state.

Investigators say they traced a Facebook message Myers sent her boyfriend on Dec. 19 to a computer at the Country Inn and Suites, 3422 S. Decker Lake Dr. They also said they located her DNA in a bathtub drain and elsewhere in the bathroom where the group was staying.

Myers' autopsy states her manner of death is "undetermined," meaning results weren't conclusive as to whether her death was a homicide, suicide or an accident. Cordova and Delacruz were identified last year by police as persons of interest in the case surrounding Myers' death and disappearance, but police didn't specify whether they believed the two men ultimately killed Myers.

Cordova and Delacruz were in jail in Colorado in an unrelated drug trafficking case early last year during the investigation into Myers' death. It wasn't clear from Utah jail records whether either of them are currently incarcerated or in police custody, although warrants were issued Thursday for both of their arrests.

West Valley police didn't respond to multiple calls requesting comment Thursday.

Delacruz pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in 2000. An attempted murder charge in that case was dismissed, Utah court records show. His criminal history also includes guilty pleas to misdemeanor assault in 2009 and two counts of felony drug possession in 2011.

Cordova has a more limited criminal history within Utah. He was convicted of misdemeanor drug distribution in 1994. A felony weapons charge was dropped in that case.

Email: blockhart@deseretnews.com

Twitter: benlockhartnews

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