Murder suspect tells Orem police he killed girlfriend during fight over vape cartridge

File photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

OREM, Utah, March 27, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Orem police investigators say a 27-year old man has been charged with first-degree murder after he admitted to strangling and beating his girlfriend during a fight triggered by a malfunctioning vape cartridge.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Utah County, Orem police officers were sent to a medical call near 800 South 750 West about 3:14 a.m Saturday where a man claimed to have killed his girlfriend.

When officers arrived, they entered a basement apartment and found a man “kneeling facing away from officers in the living room with his hands behind his head which appeared to have blood on them. When officers asked him his name he identified himself as Daniel Padilla,” the affidavit said.

Police searched the home “and found the female victim in the nearby bedroom,” the probable cause statement said. Officers attempted life-saving measures but were unable to revive the victim, who was ultimately declared deceased by Orem EMTs.

Padilla was arrested, and prior to being read his Miranda rights told officers “he had nothing to hide.” He said he had called the police on himself, and that “he was there to face the consequences.”

After being Mirandized, Padilla stated “he had been in a relationship with the victim for the past four months.” He explained she had “come over to his house earlier in the day and the two of them started drinking that night.”

Padilla said “the female victim had a vape cartridge that was broken when he grabbed it from her,” at which point “the female victim hit him.”

Padilla told police “after he had been hit and pushed by the female victim he grabbed her neck with his right hand and started to choke her. The female victim then went to the ground where Daniel stated he punched her in the face, and then started to choke her with both of his hands.”

Police said Padilla told them when the girlfriend “did not respond he took a couple of shots of alcohol and sent two text messages to family members stating that he had just killed someone and that he wouldn’t be seeing them for a while.”

The probable cause statement indicates Padilla has been arrested five times in the past eight years and two of those incidents involved domestic violence.

During questioning he told police he was on probation for past charges and had recently finished counseling.

Padilla is being held without bail in the Utah County Jail.


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