Police & Fire

West Valley man with $45,000 warrant connected to murder, kidnapping and robbery in West Jordan

PARK CITY, Utah — Two men arrested last week on I-80 near Kimball Junction in a U-Haul truck have been connected to incidents involving stabbing and pushing a man out of a moving vehicle on Bangerter Highway in West Jordan. In addition to kidnapping and robbery in Park City, according to court documents reported by KSL.

On Feb. 26, the body of Cesar Adan Martinez, 37, was found on the Bangerter Highway near 8200 South. West Jordan police determined Martinez was thrown from a moving vehicle. An autopsy also revealed multiple stab wounds to his chest and abdomen, according to charging documents. Police later found Martinez’s 2008 Dodge Dakota in Salt Lake City and his cellphone in East Canyon. Shortly after, police discovered a call on Martinez’s phone to Carreto-Morales’ phone just after midnight.

The investigation also revealed that after a dinner involving Martinez and the two suspects, the three men returned to the suspects’ apartment and consumed alcohol. Shortly thereafter, Carreto-Morales mentioned the idea to rob Martinez, according to the charges.

“Carreto-Morales wanted to steal Cesar’s truck. The plan, according to Cortez, was to drive Cesar to his home to drop him off and would tell Cesar they would return his truck to him the next morning,” the charges state.

As the three men returned to the vehicle and made their way to Bangerter Highway, “Cortez said, Carreto-Morales attempted to place a metal wire around Cesar’s neck in the vehicle. Cortez said Cesar pulled the wire away from his neck with his hand and turned in his seat to face Carreto-Morales. Cortez said Carreto-Morales then reached from the back seat and stabbed Cesar in the stomach two times and (the) chest one time,” according to the charges.

When Martinez attempted to open the passenger door in an attempt to flee, Carreto-Morales then pushed him out, the charges state.

Several weeks later, on March 13, Park City police received a report of a man held at knifepoint by two Hispanic men and taken to Salt Lake City, where he was forced to withdraw money from his bank account, the charges state.

Summit County officers became suspicious during a traffic stop just days later after the driver stated he was on his way to a Summit County residence to help his uncle move but did not know the address. However, the passenger then stated that he and the driver were meeting a friend driving to Park City to get a ride to Salt Lake but did not know the location.

Upon conducting a records check, the driver was revealed to be a 34-year-old West Valley man with a $40,000 burglary warrant from SLC and a retail theft warrant for $5,000 for his arrest.

The passenger, a 44-year-old Springville, Utah man, had numerous misdemeanor warrants and two loaded syringes that tested positive for heroin and fentanyl. A vehicle search revealed a slingshot in the center console and two sets of gloves.

Information collected by detectives in Park City helped West Jordan Police connect Carreto-Morales and Cortez to Martinez’s death, the charges state.

On Thursday, Mario Alberto Carreto-Morales, 24, of Manga, was charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, while Raul Jaimes Cortez, 30, of Magna, was charged in 3rd District Court with murder, also a first-degree felony. In addition, both men were charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping and two counts of aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies, and obstructing justice, which is a second-degree felony.

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