Salt Lake County lawmen say they are making headway in the investigation of the murder of a pregnant West Valley woman killed Friday night during a video store robbery.
"It is obvious that we don't have what we presently need . . . but we have some good leads," Salt Lake County Sheriff's Capt. Bob Jack said Saturday night.The county's deputy sheriffs scoured a Kearns neighborhood Saturday for clues in the slaying.
Anna Holmes, 31, 3845 W. Grouse Circle, died at 9:36 p.m. Friday at University Hospital two minutes after she was delivered of a baby girl. The infant was listed in serious condition Saturday afternoon, hospital officials said.
Holmes, who lived about 2 miles northeast of the Video Voyager, 5448 S. 4220 West, had gone to the store about 8:30 p.m. Friday, accompanied by her three daughters and three neighborhood girls, looking for a video for a slumber party. Her husband, Michael, a Scoutmaster, was with his troop on an overnight camp-out on Stansbury Island in Tooele County.
Holmes went to Video Voyager her first time there because she had a coupon, a neighbor said.
While she and the girls were in the store a man, who reportedly had been milling around the store about five or 10 minutes looking for the video, "The Thing," approached the service counter, pulled out a .38-caliber revolver and ordered all of the customers together, witnesses said.
After grabbing a male customer by the neck, the gunman asked the clerk for all of the money. He also pulled Holmes against the male customer for no apparent reason, according to sheriff's reports.
After receiving between $300 and $350 in a green canvas bag, the gunman shot Holmes in the head behind the left ear and ordered everyone to lie on the floor, Hayward said.
The gunman fled in what is described as a white or light blue car, possibly a Buick, Hayward said.
Despite media reports that the car may have been driven by a second person, Jack said the sheriff's office is not operating under that assumption.
Witnesses describe the man as between 30 and 45 years old, Caucasian, with gray hair and a sparse moustache. He was wearing a plaid shirt and faded jeans.
Police are not releasing composite drawings of the man because witnesses have put together three drawings that are distinctly different from each other.
"That's why we don't like to show composites," Jack said. Police don't plan to release drawings to the media at this time.
After the shooting, Holmes was taken to Pioneer Valley Hospital and then flown to University Hospital, where the six-week premature baby was delivered by Caesarean section. The father was notified by the Tooele County sheriff's office about 9:30 p.m. Friday.
A mobile command post has been set up in the parking lot outside the video store, and Hayward said deputies will stay there until the gunman is caught.
A blood-stained blue, plaid, Western-style shirt, fitting the description of the one worn by the gunman, was found near a church several blocks north of Video Voyager.
The sheriff's office has also produced a composite sketch of the gunman, Hayward said.
Detectives were talking with another witness, a mechanic, Saturday afternoon and hoped to come up with a more detailed description of the car.
Witnesses to the shooting said the robber smelled of alcohol, Hayward said. Detectives planned to check with all taverns and bars in the area to see if they could find any leads.
Hayward said two empty liquor bottles a pint of vodka and a pint of Black Velvet were found behind the video store and may be linked to the gunman. The bottles were not there earlier Friday evening, Hayward said.
Investigators checked a video cassette that the gunman had picked up for fingerprints but would not comment on whether they were able to identify any prints.
"We would certainly like to hear from anybody who has any information," Jack said.