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Owners of home talk about staff member's murder

Published February 21, 2006 12:41 am

Dedicated: They say the victim had agreed to drive the suspect to another Clearfield youth facility
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

CLEARFIELD - The owners of a home for troubled youths talked Monday about what led to the Wednesday murder of a staff member and whether the victim broke any rules by giving a ride to her alleged killer.

Murder suspect Robert Cameron Houston, 17, had been playing basketball Wednesday night at a group home for teenagers operated by Youth Health Associates in Clearfield, the owners said.



The victim, Raechale Elton, a 21-year-old student at Weber State University who worked at Youth Health to pay her tuition, apparently agreed to drive Houston to another Clearfield home operated by Youth Health.

Owners Brian Garlock and Chris Hughes said Elton worked at the group home and did not have oversight of Houston, who resided at an independent-living facility.

After Elton left with Houston, other staff members became worried and tried to contact Elton to ensure that she was OK, Garlock and Hughes said.

But when a supervisor called the house, Houston answered the phone and said Elton was not there, Hughes said. By that time, the attack likely had already occurred, he added.

Staff members found Elton in the home with stab wounds and lacerations. Court papers say she also was raped at knife point. She died later at a hospital.

Houston fled in a car, but went only about a block before crashing into a house. The home's owner has said Houston claimed he had just killed someone and that he had earlier attended a rape rehabilitation center. Clearfield police have said Houston claimed to be infatuated with Elton and thought she was cute.

Houston was charged as an adult Friday in 2nd District Court with capital murder and aggravated sexual assault. He is being held without bail at the Davis County jail.

At a news conference Monday, Garlock and Hughes reiterated their claims from last week that the youth - whom they called "Cameron" - showed no signs of being capable of the crimes with which he is accused.

"He has lived there incident-free," Garlock said.

Garlock and Hughes said Youth Health has protocols about when a staff member can give rides to teenage clients or be alone with them. But they said they have no policy covering what Elton did - give a ride during her off hours to a teen she didn't oversee.

Elton had worked at Youth Health for about a year.

"She was much better staff than I was," said Youth Health employee Shane Rasmussen. "It seems like when I had a problem with a kid, they'd just beg and beg me to talk to Raechale. And she'd be able to calm them down."

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

 

 

 

 

 

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