Second man arrested in death of teen found in Jordan River
By Janelle Stecklein
and Aaron Falk
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Mar 24 2012 12:35PM
Just hours after a Draper teen disappeared from her home, three men were spotted returning to a Salt Lake Valley home covered in blood, police allege.
On Saturday, a new probable cause statement released by the Salt Lake County jail indicated police linked the blood on their clothes to that of 15-year-old Anne Kasprzak, whose body was found in the Jordan River on March 11.
Also Saturday, Draper police announced they had arrested a second man in connection with Kasprzak’s death — Veanuia Vehekite, 30, of Stansbury Park — a man with a lengthy criminal history involving drugs and weapons crimes. Police said they had been looking for him for a week before he was arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County jail early Friday on suspicion of murder and illegal possession of a weapon.
Last week, police also arrested 31-year-old Daniel Robert Lehi Ferry in connection with the girl’s death.
Vehekite was an "active participant in the murder of Anne Kasprzak," Draper police said Saturday. Police called him a gang member "with a violent criminal history," but officials would not discuss details of his involvement.
"Our agency is still actively investigating this case, and more details will be made available at a later time," Draper police said in a statement.
Draper police interviewed a witness who allegedly saw Ferry physically assault Kasprzak at a south valley home after she refused to have sex with him, according to a probable cause statement filed with the Salt Lake County jail.
The newest PC statement alleges that Vehekite assisted in removing Kasprzak’s unconscious body from Ferry’s home. The witness said Kasprzak was alive, but unconscious when she was carried away in a tarp from the home by Vehekite and another male, who is not named in the statement.
Police allege Ferry, Vehekite, and the other man left the home and returned with their clothing "all bloodied a few hours later," the statement shows. It was not immediately clear if police are seeking additional suspects in Kasprzak’s death.
Police said they served a search warrant at Ferry’s home where forensic technicians allegedly located evidence consistent with the witness’ statement, the PC statement shows.
Kasprzak’s family said they last saw her on the evening of March 10. Her parents reported her missing that night after discovering she was gone from their Riverton home.
At 10 a.m. the next day, a passerby found blood and a shoe near a footbridge over the Jordan River at about 12600 South. Officers in a helicopter later spotted a body with a matching shoe in the river a bit downstream from the bridge.
No formal charges have been filed against Vehekite or Ferry, who remains in jail after receiving a 30-day sentence last week for two traffic violations.
A search of court records shows Vehekite was most recently charged earlier this month after police say they stopped a car in which Vehekite was a passenger and allegedly found methamphetamine and a .380 caliber pistol in a bag by his feet.