The body of Gregorio Salazar Campos, 33, was found on the morning of Sunday, April 7 in the water near the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Colorado River.
“The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds to the victim,” said Sheriff Steve White.
Two males, age 16, were taken into custody.
Charles Anthony Nelson and Brody Blu Kruckenburg were each charged with first degree murder and obstructing justice in the seventh district court.
Corina Yardley, 44, the mother of Brody Kruckenberg, was charged with obstruction of justice. She was arrested on Monday, April 7 and is booked in the Grand County Jail on a $10,000 cash only bail. Obstruction of justice is considered a second-degree felony.
Campos had been reported missing to the Moab Police Department on March 29. In the report, it was said that he had been last seen by his girlfriend, Yardley. Yardley said that she had last seen Campos in her bed on March 25.
On April 6, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office received information that Nelson claimed to have killed someone and said “the person was an illegal so no one would miss him.”
According to the statement, Nelson said that he had been contacted by Kruckenberg who said that Campos was asleep in his mother’s bed and said “let’s kill him.”
Nelson said that Kruckenberg said that he couldn’t kill Campos and asked Nelson to do it.
Nelson told the informant that he pointed the gun through a crack in the doorway and the first shot went through Campos jaw. When the victim began to regurgitate, Nelson shot two more times. He went on to say that they used Yardley’s truck to dump the body in the Colorado River.
According to the probable cause statement, Nelson and Kruckenberg were questioned about the incident and supplied details with the shooting and dumping of the body.
The information provided by Nelson Kruckenberg led to the recovery of Campos’ body in an area known as the Old Boat Dock, which is near the pedestrian bridge crossing the Colorado River.
Three slugs were recovered from Campos head. The entry points were consistent with the description Nelson has told the informant.
Nelson and Kruckenberg are being charged as adults.
“Anyone 16 years of age or older, if there is a charge of murder or aggravated murder, it is tried in district court,” said county attorney Andrew Fitzgerald. “In this case, there is no choice. District court has jurisdiction.”
Each could face up to life in prison. They are set to appear before a judge April 23.
First degree murder is defined as intentionally or knowingly causing the death of another; intending to cause serious bodily injury of another, committing an act clearly dangerous to human life that caused the death of another; and/ or acting under circumstances evidencing a depraved indifference to human life, knowingly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death to another and thereby caused the death of another.
Obstruction of justice is a second degree felony for the intent to delay, prevent the investigation, apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment regarding conduct that constituted a criminal offense.
The last person to be charged with murder in Grand County was in 2010, said Fitzgerald. Andrew Todd Curtis was charged with first degree murder for the slaying of William Paul Tague of Denver in the Denny’s restaurant parking lot on Dec. 12, 2010.
Nelson and Kruckenburg will be held in the Grand County Jail until they make their initial appearance before Judge Lyle Anderson to make sure the defendants have attorneys and to establish bail. If they cannot afford an attorney, they will be appointed one, Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said that the charges are allegations only and that the investigation is still ongoing.
“The suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty,” Fitzgerald said.
Charles Anthony Nelson is a junior at Grand County High School. Brody Blue Kruckenburg has not attended the high school, said principal Steve Hren.
Updates to this story will be posted to www.moabsunnews.com as they become available.