Suspect arrested in stabbing of woman found critically injured in Salt Lake City alley

Salt Lake City police responded to the area of 280 E. Hampton Ave. after a woman was found stabbed on April 21, 2022. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Steve Milner

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 22, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Police officers have arrested a suspect in the stabbing of a woman who was found severely injured in an alley Thursday morning.

Officers arrived at the scene, at 280 E. Hampton Ave., just after 7:30 a.m. after being summoned by a community member.

As part of an overnight, coordinated effort among several Salt Lake City Police Department divisions, the suspect was located and taken into custody.

“This investigation started at approximately 7:30 a.m. on April 21, 2022, when a community member found a woman in an alley in the 200 block of East Hampton Avenue,” an SLCPD news release said.

Paramedics arrived and transported the critically injured woman to the hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery for multiple stab wounds.

Patrol officers and detectives responded to the scene and the hospital to begin their investigation.

“During the investigation, officers located forensic evidence and a vehicle belonging to 22-year-old Dontel Cowans in close proximity to where paramedics found the victim,” the news release said.

“Investigators located a fingerprint on the exterior of the vehicle. The Salt Lake City Police Department’s Crime Lab technicians processed the fingerprint and used the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, a national law enforcement database, to confirm the fingerprint belonged to Cowans.”

Members of SLCPD’s Central Bike Squad went to Cowans’ residence and safely placed him into custody, while detectives assigned to the department’s Robbery and Violent Crimes Squad obtained a court-authorized search warrant.

Members of SLCPD’s SWAT Team secured the residence so detectives could process the location for more evidence and, because of evidence found there, detectives with the Special Investigations Unit were called to assist detectives. The Special Investigations Unit handles a variety of cases, including drug-related crimes, the news release said.

Officers transported Cowans to the Salt Lake County Metro Jail, where he was charged with one count of aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury. SLCPD will continue to work with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office to determine what, if any, additional charges may be filed.

“This case highlights the outstanding ability of our department to quickly and effectively coordinate and communicate during a rapidly unfolding investigation,” said Chief Mike Brown.

“Our patrol officers, detectives, members of our specialty units and crime lab technicians never let up in their pursuit of justice. These investigations require dedicated members of law enforcement, and I’m proud we have that caliber of excellence throughout our department,” Brown said.


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