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Search warrants have been sealed in the case of a retired professor slain last month outside of Payson, a court clerk and a prosecutor confirmed on Wednesday
Tim Taylor, the chief deputy attorney in Utah County, said "several search warrants" have been sealed at the request of his office. Taylor said investigators are concerned about tipping suspects and people who may have information about the case.
"We're just trying to use every tool," Taylor said.
A clerk at the 4th District Court in Provo confirmed search warrants have been sealed in the murder case but declined to say more, citing a judge's order.
Kay Mortensen, a 70-year-old retired Brigham Young University engineering professor, died Nov. 16 in what appeared to be a robbery of his home. No arrests have been made and police have disclosed few details of what occurred. The Utah County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case.
It's the second time this week a Utah court has confirmed the existence of search warrants sealed from public view. In the 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City, a judge has sealed at least three search warrants related to the disappearance of missing wife and mother Susan Powell, 28. The Salt Lake Tribune has filed a motion to disclose the search warrants in the Powell case.
It was not yet known on late Wednesday whether any similar challenge was planned in the Utah County case. Taylor said he would "have no problem" disclosing the search warrants after an arrest is made but he did not indicate when that might occur.
Search warrants in Utah are filed with a court and made public after 20 days, and typically include statements from police about why they have probable cause to search and a list of what they seized. All that material can be sealed with a judge's order.