Saturday, April 26, 2008
Deborah Jones May Have Been Killed Before Being Taken Out Of Utah; Michael Doyel Faces Both State And Federal Kidnapping Charges
After waiving an extradition hearing and being transported from Missouri to Utah, Michael Doyel, 47, was charged on Friday April 25th, 2008 in U.S. District Court with the kidnapping of Deborah Jones (pictured at left) from Salt Lake City. He had already been charged earlier in Utah's 3rd District Court with a different kidnapping after prosecutors said he took another woman, 59-year-old Patricia Murray, a handicapped individual, without the consent of her guardian. Full stories published in the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, and aired by KTVX Channel 4 and KSL Channel 5.
See previous post for more information about Michael Doyel's state of mind, including a lifelong battle with paranoid schizophrenia and his failure to stay on his medication.
No homicide charge has been filed yet, although Salt Lake District Attorney Lohra Miller said on April 25th that her office was putting together their case. She said a murder charge in the complex case may not come until May. Doyel could face a maximum of 20 years on the federal kidnapping charge alone.
Doyel admitted to detectives he harassed Jones "weeks and days before the abduction," according to court documents. He would show up at her work, call her home, business and cell phones constantly and "in an attempt to get some attention from her ... stated when he couldn't have her any more he would carve her name in his arm," court documents state. When Doyel was arrested in Missouri, he had Jones' name "freshly carved" in his arm, according to court documents.
Here is a timeline of the significant developments:
(1). On Wednesday April 16th, Deborah Jones met with Salt Lake City police to discuss possible fraud involving Michael Doyel, with whom she had lived for several months before ending the relationship a couple of weeks earlier. Jones was scheduled to meet with police again on April 17th but never showed up.
(2). On Thursday April 17th, surveillance video shows Jones leaving Perkins restaurant, 230 N. Admiral Byrd Road (5480 West). U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman said Friday it was unknown if Jones was with Doyel willingly at that time.
(3). On Friday April 18th, at 1:07 P.M., a friend called Jones' cell phone and had a very brief conversation with her. It was the last time friends or relatives had contact with her before her death.
(4). On Friday April 18th, just before 6 P.M., Doyel bought a large plastic container from a Lowe's hardware outlet in West Jordan.
(5). On Saturday April 19th, just before 4 P.M., Doyel bought plastic wrap and a tarp from a Wal-Mart in West Valley City. Jones' family first reported her missing on the same day.
(6). Sometime during Saturday April 19th, Patricia Murray was seen leaving her home at the assisted-living center where she was domiciled. She left with Doyel. But since Murray did not know that Jones was in the car, but did see the plastic container, this means that when Doyel picked up Murray, Deborah Jones was already dead at that point.
(6). On Sunday April 20th, an endangered person alert on Deborah Jones was issued.
(7). On Monday April 21st, at 9 P.M. CDT, Deborah Jones' body was found in the trunk of her grey Volkswagen Passat outside a motel in Branson, MO. Her body "was discovered in a large plastic container, sealed with bungee cords," according to court documents. The Taney County (MO) Coroner estimates Jones could have been dead for three to four days when she was found. Inside the container her body "was covered by a tarp, towels and clothing. Her body was bound at the arms and legs by nylon cord, and she was partially clothed. Ms. Jones was facing up with her arms and legs tied behind her back". The subsequent autopsy listed the cause of death as asphyxiation, "consistent with a homicide."
Doyel tried to conceal the odor from the dead body by covering the clothing in a deodorant stick and using an air freshener, shower spray cleaner and perfume. Doyel initially drove to Las Vegas before changing course to Missouri. Tolman said he did not know what Doyel intended to do with Jones' body or if Missouri was his final destination. However, according to a previous Salt Lake Tribune report, on Monday April 21st, Patricia Murray called an acquaintance and left voice mail indicating she was with Doyel en route to Las Vegas.
Tolman also stated that Jones' death appears to be the result of a carefully thought-out, heinous crime. He also alleged that Doyel's actions - including his purchase of bungee cords and his trip to Branson, Mo. - shows "significant" planning and an attempt to flee. As for the motive, Tolman said: "At first blush, it has every indication of a relationship gone bad."
No charges have been filed against Murray, whom Tolman said did not know the body of Jones was in the car in which she and Doyel traveled to Vegas and Branson, although she did see the large plastic container.
The federal and state kidnapping charges against Doyel can proceed simultaneously. When a homicide charge is filed, Tolman said he would work with Miller to decide how best to proceed from that point.