Weber County Sheriff’s Office announces arrest in murder case

Andy Dane Oketang Dennis. Photo: Weber County

WEBER COUNTY, Utah, June 17, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Weber County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday announced a suspect has been arrested in connection with the murder of 30-year-old Lopine “Chynna” Toilolo, whose body was found in Ogden Canyon May 12.

Andy Dane Oketang Dennis, 37, faces one count of murder and two counts of obstruction of justice.

“The obstruction of justice is part of witness tampering with two of the witnesses that were involved in the case,” Weber County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Cortney Ryan said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Ryan also confirmed that the suspect and the victim were in a relationship. He added that there was an altercation the night before the murder that led investigators “in that direction” to the suspect.

Dennis was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Weber County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

“This comes as a result of five weeks of intense work by our investigations bureau, cooperation by the community and the cooperation of the family,” Ryan added. “This has been a long, trying five weeks for this family and they’ve been exceptionally patient and understanding of the investigation process and working through this case.”

Ryan said the case is now in the hands of the county attorney’s office, which will move forward with court proceedings.

The victim’s father, Sefu Toilolo, also spoke at the press conference.

“I apologize if I get emotional,” he said. “It’s been a long time waiting for this moment. All I want to say is I want to thank Weber County Sheriff’s Office for the work that is done. There’s a lot of frustration as we waited for this, but the outcome that we waited for is finally here.

“All I can say is my daughter did not deserve what happened to her. I know as well, on behalf of my wife and my family, she’s in a new place. She’s taken care of and this is what we’ve been waiting for, justice for her, and give us some closure, as a family.”

Weber County officials revealed on Wednesday, May 13 that they had found a body in Ogden Canyon a day earlier. A day later, they confirmed the victim’s name.

“The Weber County Sheriff’s Office has identified the deceased female in the suspicious death case as 30-year-old Lopine ‘Chynna’ Toilolo,” said a news release at the time. “The sheriff’s office would like to express our deepest condolences to the family, friends and community of Chynna. The investigation is still ongoing and there is no further information to release at this time.”

An earlier statement revealed that at 5:51 p.m. May 12, a 911 call alerted officials to a body in the area of 400 Ogden Canyon, close to the bank of the Weber River. Investigators had been on scene overnight and into the next day, documenting possible evidence, the statement said.

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.

Chynna Toilolo. Her photos are from a missing person’s poster.

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