The Moab City Police Department reported entering a home near U.S. Highway 191 and 400 East in Moab at 2 a.m. on June 16, arresting a man authorities say is the prime suspect in the death of a woman in St. George, Utah.
Kevin Ray Mcatlin, 28, was arrested and booked into the Grand County Jail, and then transported to Washington County, where he now faces a murder charge in the 5th District Court.
Speaking to the Moab Sun News, a roommate at the residence where Mcatlin was arrested said, “It was crazy … It was scary … I wake up … and I look up, and (the police are) all around my bed.”
[The identity of the roommate who agreed to speak on the record is being withheld because of concerns from authorities about retaliation against her and other occupying the household, even though they reportedly were not involved in the alleged crime.]
Mcatlin’s charge is in connection with the death of Elizabeth Carter, 33, in St. George. The St. George Police Department issued a statement saying that Carter was found in her apartment on 500 North Bluff Street on June 13. Carter had reportedly been stabbed in the neck 16 times.
The Associated Press reported that property managers discovered Carter’s body in a bathtub covered by blankets and a couch cushion. Her body was transported to Salt Lake City for an autopsy and the Office of the Medical Examiner classified the death as a homicide. Police said investigators discovered a bloody fingerprint on the back side of the apartment’s front door and a Utah crime lab positively matched it to Mcatlin.
Mcatlin was known to reside in Moab, and the St. George Police Department requested assistance from the Moab City Police Department and Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
“We started to try to locate the individual here in the area, and we did, we looked at several residences,” Jim Winder, Moab City police chief, said.
Once officers confirmed that Mcatlin was inside a Moab residence, they obtained a warrant for his arrest and entered the home.
“We located him in the early morning hours of Saturday,” Winder said. “He was in a private residence here with individuals that he has longtime contact with, but were completely unwitting — it is very evident that the individuals he was here with in Moab had no idea that he had any involvement in such a heinous crime. They were completely cooperative. We were able to enter the home and take him into custody without any issues, which was a blessing. He was compliant at the time of his arrest.”
The investigation continues on the case, police said, and declined to release further details.
Neighbors in the area of the residence where Mcatlin was arrested recalled that the street was clogged with police vehicles on the morning of Mcatlin’s arrest. Neighbors said they had seen Mcatlin “come and go” from the residence since late last year.
Standing on the front lawn of the residence where Mcatlin was arrested, the roommate said on June 19 that she and Mcatlin’s grandmother moved into the residence about six months ago. They had previously lived “down the street,” she said.
The roommate said Mcatlin had just recently moved to St. George, but had continued to “come and go” from the Moab residence. “He was always here,” she said. “He grew up here (in Moab).”
“He was here Wednesday night (June 13),” the roommate said. “We didn’t know nothing. I didn’t know nothing. (Mcatlin’s grandmother asked me), ‘Is it OK if my grandson washes his clothes here?’ and I said, ‘Yeah.’”
The roommate said that when Mcatlin arrived, he appeared to be “tired,” but said she didn’t notice anything unusual until she was awakened later by the police.
“We sat there all night long, detained, we couldn’t go anywhere, because they were waiting for the St. George detectives to come up here, and bring a search warrant for the room that he is in,” the roommate said.
The roommate said law enforcement officers removed Mcatlin’s property from the room, including an assortment of knives.
“He’s had some knives all over the place,” the roommate said. “He throws them.”
The roommate said she wasn’t aware of any other weapons that were removed from the residence during the arrest and search, and said, “Everything of his, they (law enforcement) took.”
Winder said on June 19 that Mcatlin has had previous run-ins with law enforcement, some of which had been for violence, but the roommate said she had known him for “a while” and never considered Mcatlin to be a violent person.
“To me, he was the one who always wanted to stop the violence, you know — ‘Don’t fight,’” the roommate said.
“I feel freaked out,” the roommate said. “My judgment is pretty bad … He seemed really calm and not violent at all.”
The roommate said she believed that Mcatlin had been the victim of, or witness to, possible domestic violence or abuse by his mother in the past, and that she is not living in the area. Nor is his father living in the area, the roommate said.
“He’s always helping his grandmother,” the roommate said.
Neighbors said that in general the neighborhood is “very quiet.”
When asked if they now feel differently about the safety of their neighborhood since the arrest, neighbors said no.
“It could happen in any neighborhood,” one said.
Mcatlin’s grandmother declined to be interviewed.
Authorities reportedly seize knives from local residence