Spanish Fork police may have gotten a break in a missing persons case that has puzzled them since July.
Michael Kufrin, 32, the former live-in boyfriend of the missing woman, has been arrested in Nevada on charges of possession of both a car and firearms stolen from Payson. On Thursday, Kufrin was ordered extradited to Utah. Spanish Fork and Payson police expect to return him to Utah County by next Friday."We believe he is the key to finding out where Peggy is and what happened to her," Spanish Fork Police Chief Dee Rosenbaum said Thursday.
Peggy Ellsworth Case, 28, was last seen at a party with Kufrin on Saturday, July 9. Kufrin responded to Case's behavior with jealousy, witnesses said. Kufrin called Trojan Corp., Case's employer, saying she would not be in the following Monday through Wednesday.
Co-workers of Case who were suspicious alerted Spanish Fork police. When officers went to the couple's apartment, Kufrin said Case had gone to Reno with a girlfriend to purchase a car. The girlfriend denied the story.
Kufrin left Spanish Fork on Sept. 30. He was arrested in Caliente, Nev., Dec. 23.
The officer saw what he believed was a suspicious vehicle, and when he did a check, he learned the vehicle was reported stolen, Rosenbaum said. Kufrin was driving the vehicle. Police in Nevada said they recovered a number of firearms reported stolen from Payson.
Rosenbaum said Spanish Fork police want Kufrin on charges of illegal discharge of a firearm and cruelty to animals, but their main concern is getting some answers on what happened to Case.
"I'm not ready to say he's a suspect in the case, but we do have some questions to ask him. Since the story was in the papers, a few people associated with Kufrin in the past have called us, and we definitely have additional questions and issues to bring up with him," Rosenbaum said.
He added that officers will try to interview Kufrin's recent associates next week in Nevada.
"We want to know if any of them heard comments from Kufrin as to where Peggy might be," Rosenbaum said.