This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Posted: 7:28 AM- A fingerprint lifted from a plastic garbage bag gave West Valley City police detectives a break in last month's murder investigation.
Hours after Manuel Archuleta's body was found face-down outside a concrete mixing plant May 12, firefighters extinguished a burning car in an industrial area of Kearns.
In the car's charred remains, firefighters found a bloody towel, a black plastic garbage bag and a pocket calendar missing two pages that were found in Archuleta's pant pocket, according to a search warrant returned this week.
A fingerprint on the garbage bag matched 19-year-old Bob Jeffrey Veloz, a suspected member of the street gang Brown Pride Society, police said.
Police arrested Veloz four days later and charged him with first-degree felony murder. They recovered a handgun and bloody clothing from his house, according to court records.
Archuleta's brother, Gabriel Guerrero, said he believed the shooting was related to a drug transaction. Archuleta, who went by the nickname Guerro, had an addiction to methamphetamine, he said.
Veloz is accused of shooting Archuleta five times in the head in a friend's car, dumping the body and then washing out the car, dousing it with gasoline and burning it. Marco Antonio Amaro, 24, and a 17-year-old juvenile were charged with obstructing justice for allegedly helping destroy the evidence.
Police said Archuleta was a member of the 18th Street gang. The Brown Pride Society and 18th Street are Hispanic street gangs with affiliations to national gangs in California that are known as "surenos," or southerners, gangs. They would not be considered rivals, said Marilyn Felkner, an analyst for the Salt Lake Area Gang Project.
In search warrants, police noted Archuleta was found with a blue T-shirt under a golf shirt and that members of the 18th Street gang wear blue.
"[Archuleta] wasn't no gang-banger," Guerrero said. "My brother had a good heart. The stuff that messed him up was the drugs. ...I'm sure that's what it was about, the drugs."