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West Valley City • Two suspects have been arrested and a third is being sought in the death of a 49-year-old man who police said was killed Tuesday when he was run over by a stolen trailer.
The victim, identified as Eric Carter, died while attempting to stop the three from driving away with a Wells Cargo utility trailer that belonged to a friend of his, according to West Valley City police.
The suspects in custody are Jesse Floyd Searle, 34, and Jeannette Teddie Miner, 26, who have been booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of murder, robbery and obstruction of justice. Police are looking for the third suspect, 41-year-old Jay Urry.
A probable cause statement filed with the Salt Lake County jail alleges Searle and Urry went to the area of 4840 West and 4500 South between midnight and 1 a.m. Tuesday to steal items that they believed had been abandoned and stole the trailer. They returned at 5:30 p.m., this time with Miner, to steal more items.
Carter confronted them and demanded that they not steal the trailer, which was attached to a pickup truck, according to the probable cause statement. As the three suspects left, Carter jumped into the bed of the pickup truck and called 911 to report the theft.
The suspects drove to a nearby LDS Church at 4420 S. Early Duke Drive (5080 West), where Searle walked away from the vehicles, the probable cause statement says. An argument began among Carter, Urry and Miner, then Miner drove away with Carter standing on the tongue of the trailer, the statement says.
Searle was walking at about 5000 W. Royal Ann Drive (4490 South) when Miner drove up and he gestured at her to stop, the statement says. Miner told Searle "to get him out of there," and Searle began to fight Carter, according to the statement.
As the two fought, Miner drove away, striking Carter with the trailer, the statement says.
During his 911 call, Carter had provided information about what was happening but dispatchers lost contact with him after several minutes. Police officers responding to the general location found Carter's body in the roadway of Royal Ann Drive, about a quarter-mile from the trailer theft report.
Just after midnight, the pickup truck was located in Kearns and the trailer was found in West Valley City, police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku said.
Miner had reported the truck stolen after it was found, which the probable cause statement alleges was done "to thwart the efforts of law enforcement."
Police said that because the suspects were allegedly in the act of committing a robbery when Carter was killed, murder charges are appropriate.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to contact the West Valley City Police Department at 801-840-4000.
Tribune reporter Erin Alberty contributed to this story.