SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors have asked for an extension as charges are considered for the man accused of shooting and killing a University of Utah student this week.
Austin Boutain, 24, remained without bail in Salt Lake County Jail on Friday as prosecutors continue collecting information in the case, Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill said.
Boutain is being held for investigation of aggravated murder in the death of 23-year-old ChenWei Guo after police say Boutain shot and killed the U. student in attempt to steal his car near campus Monday night.
Guo, who was born in Beijing, was a pre-computer science major and a peer adviser with the International Student and Scholar Services Office at the University of Utah. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as a missionary for the church in Provo. He also served as a volunteer interpreter for the church.
He would have turned 24 on Sunday.
Guo's parents, who have arrived in Salt Lake City, released a statement Friday expressing their sorrow over the loss of their son and their gratitude for the experiences he had in Utah and at the university.
"We are devastated by the loss of our son ChenWei, who brought immense joy into our lives and the lives of all who knew him. It is hard to capture in words his happy, positive outlook on life.
"ChenWei aspired to work in the future helping others to feel better about themselves. He was outgoing, adventurous, highly intellectual and a deeply faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was thankful to be able to share his testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ with many as a missionary in Provo," the statement read.
Eric Hawkins, spokesman for the LDS Church, confirmed that a leader from the faith met privately with Guo's family after they arrived.
Police revealed Wednesday that Boutain is also accused of attempting to force a female friend of Guo's up into the hills above the university with him after the shooting. The woman, also a student at the U., escaped when Boutain was distracted, according to police, and Boutain fled, prompting a lockdown of the campus and a massive manhunt.
Boutain was arrested the next day when a librarian at the Salt Lake Main Library recognized him and alerted security.
Under Utah law, someone arrested and booked for investigation of a crime may be held for 72 hours without charges being filed, unless an extension is granted. The extension gives prosecutors until Nov. 16 to prepare their case or to seek more time, confirmed Blake Nakamura, chief deputy Salt Lake County district attorney.
The extension also covers Boutain's wife, Kathleen Boutain, 23, who is being held for investigation of theft by receiving stolen property, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In a case as complex as this, Gill said extensions are common.
Prosecutors are collecting information from multiple police jurisdictions that assisted in the search and coordinating with law enforcement in Colorado, where arrest warrants for suspicion of first-degree murder and other charges were issued for the couple on Friday.
Mitchell Bradford Ingle, 63, was found dead in his recreational vehicle at the Clear Creek RV Park in Golden, Colorado, when police in Utah notified the Colorado department that the Boutains had come to the state in a truck believed to have been stolen from Ingle.
According to arrest warrant affidavits released Friday by Colorado authorities, Ingle and the Boutains were "partying" in Ingle's trailer on Oct. 27 when Austin Boutain became upset with Ingle for "flirting" with Kathleen Boutain. After Ingle went to bed, according to the affidavit, the Boutains discussed robbing and killing Ingle in his sleep.
"The original plan was to kill (Ingle) while he was sleeping with a crossbow because there would not be much of a mess," the affidavit states. When that failed, and Ingle had awakened, Austin Boutain followed him into the bathroom and slit his throat with a knife.8 comments on this story
According to the affidavit based on interviews with both Boutains after their arrest in Salt Lake City, the couple then stole guns, clothing and other items as well as Ingle's truck. They drove to Salt Lake City, and along the way, picked up a homeless couple and gave the truck to them, Kathleen Boutain told police.
The Boutains had been living in California before taking a bus to Colorado in September, the affidavit states. They had been living in a tent in Golden, Colorado, for one or two weeks before Ingle's death.
Investigators are recommending charges of first-degree murder, robbery and motor vehicle theft, according to Golden police.
Pam Russell, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office in Colorado, said that charges have yet to be filed against the Boutains.