A man sought in the strangulation death of a Utah woman after escaping from a Colorado halfway house has been arrested and detained in New Mexico, authorities say.
San Juan County Sheriff's Sgt. Rod Johnson said the man identified himself with an alias, but police believe he is Ben Salazar, 49, wanted in connection with the slaying of Charlotte Montoya, 56, Taylorsville, Utah."It's him," Johnson said. "He fits the description in every way."
The man was arrested Thursday night after a police officer spotted a car that matched the description of Montoya's car, believed stolen by her killer.
Salazar had been sought for questioning in the slaying of Montoya, whose body was found Tuesday in her apartment, rolled in bed sheets bound with plastic garbage bags, investigators said.
After the suspicious car was discovered in front of a Bloomfield residence, police staked out the house, Johnson said. "We waited and he didn't come out and pretty soon darkness was coming on, so we decided to just go in after him."
Johnson said the man was unarmed and was arrested without incident. "He was arrested at gunpoint, so there wasn't much to it," he said.
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Capt. Robert Jack said a detective was to travel to San Juan County on Friday to interview Salazar.
Jerry Thompson, a Salt Lake County homicide detective, had been questioning Colorado authorities for leads on Salazar's whereabouts. Salazar was involved in a work-release program when he walked away March 7 from the Hilltop House correctional facility in Durango, Colo., where he had been serving a sentence for assaulting his wife.
The facility's director, Tom Berry, said Salazar contacted him Sunday night asking him for money to return to Durango. Berry said he told Salazar to turn himself in to authorities.