SANDY — Sandy police are continuing to interview people regarding the death of a man found in the front yard of a home in November.
The death of Michael Hoffman Jr., 44, is being treated as a homicide, but as of Thursday no arrests have been made and police have not named any suspects. But investigators have been trying to question one of the occupants of the house where Hoffman was found, according to a series of search warrant affidavits unsealed in 3rd District Court.
About 12:20 a.m. on Nov. 20, Sandy police were called to 1330 E. 8085 South. Hoffman, who was found lying in the yard, was declared dead at the scene.
Sandy police detective Jason Nielsen confirmed Thursday that the initial autopsy report was completed, but he declined to release the preliminary cause of death. He said investigators are waiting for toxicology tests to be completed.
Three women and a man had just moved into the residence one day before the killing. The man and one of the women were dating, the warrants state. Hoffman was a friend of one of the other women and had helped her move that day.
Police say the man "had been upset and had been fighting with his roommates" on Nov. 19. One of the female roommates called police about 6:30 p.m. to report he had "threatened to kill his new roommates, but once police had been called, he left," the warrants state.
Before leaving, the male roommate made comments that he would "kill him and her" if he discovered they were sleeping together, according to the affidavits. The documents did not identify which two people the man was talking about.
About 9 p.m. on Nov. 19, the female friend of Hoffman went to bed, but before doing so asked him to unplug her electric car in the garage, the warrants say. Hoffman told her he "may go to the bar with others who had been at the home helping but were no longer there, including (the male roommate's girlfriend)," according to the warrant.
When police arrived a few hours later, "The car was never unplugged and (her) keys were still in Michael's pocket when he was found," according to the warrant.
About 11:30 p.m., the female friend of Hoffman said she was awakened by "yelling and screaming" and heard a male voice that she thought belonged to her roommate "yelling about 'killing everybody,'" the warrants state.
One of the warrants said two of the women roommates "got out of bed and went to the living area of the home. Through the bay window she observed (the male roommate) pointing toward the house and he yelled, 'I'm going to come back and kill everybody.'"
The man then drove off with another man. A short time later, he called one of the women.
"She asked if it was him who was just at the home. (He) said no, 'but my homie says one of your friends is passed out in the front yard,'" the warrant states.
The woman then went into the front yard where "she located Michael face down on the grass. Michael was unresponsive and had a large bulge under his left eye. Blood was coming out of Michael's mouth and nose," the warrant states.
Two of the female roommates told police that the male roommate, "was responsible for the death of Hoffman. (He) had made threats to kill all those in the home the previous afternoon and was involved in a dispute with his girlfriend," one of the affidavits states.
The male roommate initially said he would drive back to the house. But he never showed up, and he didn't answer his cellphone despite several calls placed by his roommates and police, police say.
The man only recently moved to Utah from Florida. When investigators began "pinging" the man's phone, they tracked it from Emigration Canyon to Evanston, Wyoming, and then to the Fort Bridger/Lyman, Wyoming, area, according to the warrant.
Later, the man called the female roommate back. She was being interviewed by police at the time, and the officer took the phone to talk to him.
"(The man) stated he was working and could not meet with detectives who had gone to Evanston, Wyoming, to attempt to find him. (He) was later contacted by detective Webb and he refused to meet with Webb, who was one of the detectives in Wyoming. He said he would meet with us later, only with an attorney present," according to the warrant.Comment on this story
Sandy police have not called the male roommate a suspect or a person of interest. But Nielsen said Thursday that the man is "somebody that they're looking at" and said he "may have contributed to the death of Mr. Hoffman."
The case may also have ties to an incident in Cottonwood Heights that occurred about 9 p.m. on Nov. 19. Someone kicked in the door of the apartment where the two female roommates in Sandy had just moved from, according to police and a warrant. Based on witness accounts, the male roommate is considered a suspect in that case, according to Cottonwood Heights police.