OGDEN Teresa Arvizu raised her arms skyward and sobbed.
"Why?" she demanded to know. "She was my best friend! I want my best friend!"
Nearby, friends of two women found slain here along Adams Avenue placed flowers and lit candles in the memory of Rosanna Marie Cruz, 25, and Teresa Tingey, 43. Ogden police said the women were shot by a man who picked them up as they worked the streets, then abruptly turned himself in.
Jacob Daniel Ethridge, 31, is scheduled to make his first appearance in 2nd District Court today via video from the Weber County Jail where he is being held on suspicion of two counts of murder.
"He admitted to the detectives interviewing him that he's had some homicidal thoughts and tendencies for the past year," Ogden Police Lt. Tony Fox told the Deseret News on Monday. "He mentioned it to some associates and counselors."
Friends of the women are horrified.
"I hope he fries," said Francie Owens, who used to work the streets with Tingey, who went by the name "Wyoming."
Reconstructing events, police said Ethridge got into a fight with a girlfriend late Saturday night and wound up on Adams Avenue, where he encountered Cruz, who went by the name "Rosie." Police said Ethridge solicited the woman.
"He struck up a conversation with the first victim. They went up to a vacant apartment," Fox said. "He pulled out a .40-caliber handgun and shot her."
Investigators said Ethridge left the apartment and walked north, where he encountered Tingey. They went behind an apartment building at 2461 Adams Ave., where police said the woman was shot and killed. Arvizu had seen her friend only a few minutes before the killing.
"I work the street, too. I could have been dead with them. Wyoming says, 'Stay here. I'll be back.' She never came back," Arvizu sobbed.
A man who lives in the building discovered the woman's body as he walked out his back door on Sunday morning. At the same time officers responded to that scene, Fox said Ethridge showed up at the police department with his father.
"He went home and told his parents, and his father brought him in to our station. He told us that we ought to look for the second individual," he said.
Ethridge lives in Roy with his parents. The home was searched on Sunday, but police did not disclose what, if anything, was seized.
"We will not be making any comments to anybody," Ethridge's father told a Deseret News reporter on Monday.
Court records for Ethridge show a few traffic violations but nothing serious. Police were investigating a reported domestic violence case involving him in Harrisville but noted that his record was otherwise clean.
Detectives do not believe these women were particularly targeted, Fox said.
"He may have decided to act out on these thoughts he had for a while. It's bizarre," he said.
Outside the apartment where "Wyoming" died, someone created signs out of pieces of cardboard. Scrawled in black marker were the words "Stop the violence" and "Daughter, mother, sister, friend human being." Both women had children, their friends said. They also had drug problems, which led them onto the streets.
"Wyoming, she was funny. She was a really generous person," said a woman named Debore. "If you needed money, she'd give you money to help."
Police still have not been able to find Cruz's family, who were believed to live in the Miami, Fla., area.
"These ladies supported themselves. They did what they did. They worked their asses off, they sold their asses, they did what they had to do to survive," said a woman named Shauna, who knew both women. "Nobody deserves to die."
As the women spoke to a Deseret News reporter, a car sped by and a man inside flashed gang signals to those gathering to pay their respects. Adams Avenue is in the midst of an area that encompasses nearly a quarter of the city's overall crime. To combat it, Ogden police have formed a special crime reduction squad that focuses solely on offenses within that area.
Roberto Wheeler walked behind the apartment building and knelt down to touch the dried blood on the concrete where Tingey was slain."Wyoming was a good girl," he said softly. "At least her troubles are over with now."
Contributing: Joseph M. Dougherty E-mail: [email protected]
E-mail: [email protected]