Teen lured girl to her death?: Kailey Vijil Lured Cat
Published: July 22, 2015
Teen lured girl to her death?: Kailey Vijil Lured Cat, An aggravated murder charge was filed Tuesday against a 15-year-old boy accused of luring 12-year-old Kailey Vijil out of her home with a “lost cat” story, then strangling her in a West Valley City pasture last week.
Officials with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release Tuesday that the charge was filed in 3rd District Juvenile Court, but that they want the boy’s case moved to adult court “based upon the severity of the charge.”
A juvenile court judge will make that decision after hearing evidence and weighing the severity of the alleged crimes and the community’s safety, as well as the youth’s psychological records, family history and rehabilitation needs.
The teen is expected to appear in juvenile court on Wednesday afternoon for a pretrial conference, according to Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Patricia Cassell.
The Tribune does not name juvenile defendants unless they have been certified to stand trial in adult court.
According to a probable cause statement filed in court, the teen boy knocked on Vijil’s door at around midnight last Thursday, asking for help finding his lost cat.
Vijil’s 14-year-old sister initially answered the door, but told the boy she wouldn’t help him. The defendant then asked the 12-year-old girl to help him, and she left the home with him, according to court records.
Her sister told their mother that Vijil had left with the defendant, according to court records, and when Vijil did not return home, the girls’ mother contacted police.
Vijil was first reported missing at about 1:30 a.m. Friday, after her mother was out looking for her daughter and happened upon police at a 7-Eleven near 3500 South and 5200 West, according to police.
Officers pinged Vijil’s cell phone, which led them at about 2:55 a.m. to an overgrown horse pasture near 3600 South and 5200 West, about a half-mile from where the girl lived.
Court records indicate that officers found Vijil “lying in the field with a shirt wrapped around her neck.” A medical examiner later determined the girl died from strangulation.
The suspect allegedly admitted to police that “he was with [Vijil] in a field during the time period that [she] was missing from her home,” according to the probable cause statement.
Just 20 minutes before Vijil left with the boy, he allegedly went to another house in the neighborhood and asked if the woman’s 11-year-old granddaughter could help him look for his cat. That girl’s parents intervened, according to West Valley City police.
The grandmother later told police where the suspect lived, charges state.
On Monday, a detention hearing was held for the boy – where 3rd District Juvenile Court Judge Kim Hornak determined he should continue to be held at a Salt Lake County juvenile detention facility. The judge commented that the boy would continue to be held in the facility because he was accused of murder and “possible sexual assault.”
There are no allegations of sexual assault in charging records filed Tuesday against the boy. When asked about the judge’s comments, District Attorney Sim Gill said he wouldn’t “speculate on future charges,” adding that prosecutors didn’t say anything about a sexual assault in court.
“We filed the charges that we think are appropriate,” he said.
Charging documents indicate that the aggravating factor in the case is that the victim was younger than 14.
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