A man in Utah is accused of murdering his girlfriend over an alleged affair and then attempting hours later to make it appear as if he tried to save her life, police said.
Around 8:29 p.m. on May 9, police in Orem responded to a residence after receiving a report about an unresponsive woman, KSL reported.
“Officers arrived on-scene and began life-saving measures on the victim,” the station reported, citing a police booking affidavit that noted that the officers “immediately noticed significant injuries to her face and a puncture wound above her left eyebrow.”
The woman’s boyfriend, Luis Manuel Vargas Lopez, 27, and Vargas’ friend, Juan, spoke with officers at the scene.
According to the affidavit, Vargas, who shares two children with the victim, claimed he left the couple’s home for several hours to clear his mind after he and his girlfriend got into a dispute, and when he returned, she was “slumped over in a chair next to a bottle of floor cleaner.”
Video from a nearby doorbell camera, however, showed Vargas left the residence around 2:30 p.m. and was gone for around 12 minutes, officers noted in the arrest report, Gephardt Daily reported.
The friend, Juan, told investigators Vargas phoned him at about 8:20 p.m.
“He could overhear Luis telling the victim to keep breathing,” the friend said, according to the affidavit. “He found Luis performing CPR on the victim and Luis asked to switch out because he was getting tired. The friend told investigators that he recognized that she had been dead for some time and he refused to assist. The friend instead took the two children out of the house and called emergency dispatch.”
During questioning at the police station, Vargas continued to claim he had discovered his girlfriend unconscious and attempted to save her.
Police said evidence did not match up with Vargas account, including the victim suffering swollen and bruised eyes, which Vargas said was the result of the woman striking herself, the affidavit states.
The Medical Examiner’s Office believes the victim may have been dead since 4 p.m., or over four hours before Vargas phoned his friend.
The suspect allegedly admitted to police he recently had learned his girlfriend cheated on him last year, the Gephardt Daily reported.
Vargas was being held without bond on charges that included murder, obstruction of justice, and domestic violence in the presence of a child.