Alaska man to make first court appearance in Utah cold case murder

Courts • Stephen Ellenwood is charged in the 1993 slaying of 92-year-old Grace Mae Odle.
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An Alaska man accused in a 20-year-old murder case in Ogden has been extradited to Utah and will make his first appearance in court Friday.

Stephen P. Ellenwood, 40, was booked into the Weber County jail on Wednesday just before midnight.

He has been charged with one count of first-degree felony aggravated murder in the May 1993 death of 92-year-old Grace Mae Odle.

Ellenwood is scheduled to make his initial appearance in 2nd District Court via a video feed on Friday morning.

According to an affidavit for an arrest warrant filed with the court, police were called to Odle's apartment near 24th Street and Adams Avenue in Ogden on May 3, 1993, on a report of an aggravated sexual assault.

An employee of the apartment complex, which functioned as a multi-story assisted living center, told police she heard faint cries for help coming from one of the rooms. The employee went to Odle's room, and when she opened the door, a man ran from the room, down the hallway and out the building, according to the affidavit.

Odle, who was beaten and sexually assaulted during the attack, died six days later.

Several hours after Odle was assaulted, a 57-year-old woman reported that she had been stabbed and sexually assaulted while walking to a bus stop a block away from Odle's apartment, according to court documents.

DNA evidence was gathered from that crime scene, but investigators were unable to make a match until October 2012, when it was compared to DNA taken from Ellenwood while he was incarcerated at an Idaho prison from 2002 to 2008 for an aggravated assault conviction.

Once Ellenwood's DNA was matched to the second sexual assault, police were able to compare his fingerprints to a print lifted from Odle's apartment. It was also a match, according to the affidavit.

Ellenwood was arrested at his home in Alaska in May, and was housed at a jail in Juneau up until this week.

Ellenwood's prior criminal history in Utah includes convictions in 1993 for carrying a concealed dangerous weapon, and in 1994 for aggravated assault. In 2001, he pleaded no contest to driving under the influence.

Twitter: @jm_miller