Police release new suspect information in murder of 82-year-old West Valley City man

Noel Munoz Lopez. Photos: West Valley City Police Dept.

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Oct. 14, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A description of a vehicle that may have been used by a suspect in the homicide of a West Valley City man has been released.

The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the apprehension of Noel Munoz Lopez, “who has violated his parole and is a person of interest in the homicide” according to a previous statement by West Valley City Police Department.

“West Valley City Police Department investigators are seeking a 2012 White Chevy Malibu with a Utah ‘In God We Trust’ license plate, number 9P6EE, in connection with the homicide of 82-year-old Farrell Bartschi,” WVCPD said Thursday afternoon.

“The vehicle is believed to have been driven by the suspect, Noel Munoz Lopez, 34, at the time of the homicide, which took place Oct. 4, 2021 near 3800 South 4200 West.

“The United States Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of Noel Munoz Lopez. Mr. Lopez is 5 feet 9 inches tall, 210 pounds, bald with a black beard and mustache. Tips regarding the vehicle, as well as Mr. Lopez, should be made to the West Valley City Police Department tip line 801-965-5200.”

Graphic: West Valley City Police Department

Lopez, a Kearns resident, was in the area at the time of the shooting, and has an association with the people who own the house in front of which the body of Bartschi was found.

Bartschi lived nearby, but not at the house he died in front of.

Police were alerted to gunshots at 7:10 a.m., a previous WVCPD statement said. The caller also reported seeing a man lying on the ground.

“Police officers arrived and found the victim unresponsive,” the statement said. “Witnesses, police officers and West Valley City Fire Department medics all attempted lifesaving efforts, however the victim was found deceased at the scene.”

Interviews and evidence suggested Lopez had been in the area, the WVCPD statement added.

“It is unknown at this time what occurred leading up to the shooting,” the police statement said. “We can, however, report the victim in this case has no known association with the people who live inside the home, nor any association with Mr. Lopez.”

In May 2007, Lopez was convicted of attempted murder and three counts of aggravated assault. He was released from prison in March of this year and granted parole, according to court records.


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