This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A man has been charged with killing a woman last month at the West Valley City home they shared.
Justin Cade VanCleave, 18, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstructing justice in the slaying of the 33-year-old Amanda Rose Garcia.
VanCleave and Garcia lived at a home near 7200 West and 3000 South, along with VanCleave's three brothers and his mother, according to charges.
Garcia was found dead by a relative on the night of May 23 in the backyard shed of their home with multiple stab wounds, according to charges and a prior West Valley City police news release.
A police officer who arrived at the home at about 9:15 p.m. "observed bloody drag marks on the steps and patio leading from the house to the back yard," according to charges.
Police also found a bag containing bloody towels, clothing and a knife in the shed.
Police learned that earlier that day, VanCleave's mother was at work when she had spoken on the phone with Garcia and heard Justin VanCleave in the background, according to court documents. She told police that her son and Garcia were alone at the home at the time of the 11 a.m. call, charges state.
Shortly after, her son sent her a text message that Garcia had left the home, charges state.
When the mother arrived home about 90 minutes later, Justin VanCleave was taking a shower, court documents said. When he left the bathroom he was using a rag to bandage a cut finger, she told police.
Three of Justin VanCleave's friends visited the home later that afternoon and VanCleave told them he had killed Garcia by stabbing her with a kitchen knife, one of the friends later told police, according to charges.
VanCleave said he cut his finger while stabbing Garcia, and took his friends to the shed in the backyard and showed them the body, the friend told police, charges state.
VanCleave allegedly asked the friends to help him dispose of the body, but they refused.
The next day, VanCleave was arrested at a Magna residence and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.
He allegedly admitted to police that he stabbed Garcia in the home's bathroom and then tried to hide the evidence, charges state.
Court documents do not give a motive for the homicide.