It has been nearly six weeks since knife-wielding home invaders killed retired Brigham Young University professor Kay Mortensen, but Utah County sheriff's detectives say their investigation is anything but a cold case.
Sheriff's Lt. Yvette Rice said Thursday that detectives have quietly been gathering evidence and scrutinizing several "persons of interest" in the case, trying to ferret out "troubling inconsistencies in their statements." She declined to further detail those concerns, noting that the Sheriff's Office's first priority is to safeguard "the integrity of evidence that has been gathered."
Mortensen, 70, was killed Nov. 16 during a break-in involving two men. While authorities have not released specific details on the slaying, they have confirmed that knives were involved. Mortensen's son and a daughter-in-law were inside his Payson home at the time of the robbery but survived, having reportedly been tied up by the home invaders.
One of the suspects was described as having short hair dyed black. Witnesses also reported one of the men had a goatee. Investigators also are looking for a blue 1991 Ford Escort station wagon.
Rice said that since the investigation began, detectives serving search warrants have also collected DNA and blood samples from several unspecified people and locations. That evidence has been turned over to the Utah State Crime Lab for analysis.
"We expect the results of that forensic analysis to be complete within the next few weeks," Rice said.
The Mortensen family is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of Mortensen's killers.
Anyone with information can contact the Utah County Sheriff's Office at 801-851-4010.