UTAH COUNTY, Utah, Dec. 13, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A Payson man has been arrested and charged with first-degree felony criminal solicitation and second-degree felony obstruction of justice after he allegedly tried to kill himself by hiring a hit man.
A probable cause statement released by Utah County said that Taylor Eric Bedolla, 22, was arrested on Nov. 20.
The statement said Salem Police Department Officer Greg Smith began an investigation on Oct. 22 into an individual using a social media application called “Whisper.” This application allows individuals to superimpose a message over an image and post it, allowing for anyone using the application to respond.
Smith found a message that said: “Need help. 19F” He responded to this ad via private message and got a response stating, “Kill my ex-fiance, he’s trying to get custody of our daughter.”
The conversation continued and the price of $5,000 was agreed upon to carry out the murder, with payment being made after the individual received the life insurance benefit from his death.
“The individual continued by providing me the last name of Bedolla, an address in Payson, a work schedule, vehicle make, model, color, license plate, a picture of a male individual who, through my investigation, I was able to positively identify as Taylor Bedolla, and a picture of a court summons for Nov. 6,” the statement said. “As the conversation continued, I confirmed with this individual that they wanted Bedolla dead.”
Smith said that he believed he was speaking with Bedolla’s ex-fiance.
“Because of the serious nature and threats being made towards Bedolla I felt it was imperative that I notify him so he could keep himself safe,” Smith wrote in the statement. “Contact was made with Bedolla at his place of employment. I explained to Bedolla that I was working a case involving an individual believed to be his ex-fiance soliciting to have him murdered. I also advised Bedolla that substantial steps and information had been taken and provided to assist in having this act carried out.”
On Oct. 26, Smith responded to Bedolla’s ex-fiance’s place of employment in hopes to find surveillance footage of her at work sending the messages.
“While viewing the surveillance footage during the times I was receiving messages, there was never a time that she was on her cellular phone while I was receiving messages thus, ruling her out as the one physically sending messages,” the statement said.
As part of the investigation, an investigative subpoena was obtained to gather information from Whisper related to the account name in hopes of positively identifying the suspect in this case. On Nov. 20, Smith found a message from the user that was found to be three miles away from his location in Salem. He responded to Payson, near Bedolla’s home.
“When I got close to Bedolla’s home, the location services on Whisper indicated I was within .1 miles away from where the original post was made,” the statement said. “I decided to make contact with Bedolla at his home. I explained to Bedolla of my findings up to this point in this case and had suspicion that he may be the one who had posted the original message and was soliciting someone to commit murder. Bedolla confessed and told me that it was in fact him.”
Bedolla was then arrested and transported to Utah County Jail; his bail has been set at $50,000.