Salt Lake police arrest man wanted in brutal 2018 stabbing death of woman, 20

Kidus Chane Yohannes (inset) has been arrested for homicide in the 2018 stabbing death of Candace Samples, Salt Lake police announced on Tuesday, July 19, 2021. File photo of Yohannes: Salt Lake County. Crime scene photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 19, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A man wanted in the 2018 stabbing death of a woman in Salt Lake City has been arrested and charged with her murder.

A tweet issued Monday by the Salt Lake City Police Department says that Kidus Chane Yohannes, 34, has been arrested in the death of 20-year-old Candace Samples.

“Homicide investigations are sometimes long and complicated but we never rest, and cases are never ‘cold,'” the SLCPD tweet says.

“We have arrested Kidus Yohannes 34, for the 2018 murder of Candace Samples. #SLC #Arrest #Homicide”

Yohannes was charged Monday in Salt Lake County’s 3rd District Court with:

  • Aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
  • Murder, a second-degree felony
Candace Rose Samples. Photo: Obituary

Samples was fatally stabbed on Nov. 18, 2018, in the parking lot of a Dollar Tree store at 477 N. 300 West. A male victim also was stabbed and suffered critical injuries in the incident, which was sparked by a property dispute.

“Officers located a male victim on the north park strip of the Dollar Tree with multiple sharp force trauma wounds to his face, hands, ribs and shoulders,” says the affidavit filed Monday in Yohannes’ case. “This male was transported to U-Med in critical condition.

“Officers also located a female victim on the west side of the Dollar Tree inside of a gated dumpster enclosure. The female victim had multiple sharp force trauma wounds all over her body. The female victim was transported to U-Med where she was later pronounced deceased.”

Witnesses gave a description of the suspect, who fled the scene and could not be located by police or K-9s.

Witnesses told officers the suspect, who was homeless, believed Samples had stolen his cellphone while they were at a nearby library, and that Yohannes “made statements to witnesses and the female victim that he would kill for his phone while holding her at knife point.

“Witnesses on scene alerted the male stabbing victim that the suspect was holding the female at knife point. The male stabbing victim attempted to help the female and was stabbed several times. The suspect then turned to the female victim and stabbed her repeatedly before fleeing from the scene.”

Yohannes was identified through surveillance video from nearby businesses, his probable cause statement says. The video reportedly captured him “chasing after the female victim from the library,” adding he “is last observed with the victim just prior to the stabbing on surveillance video from a nearby 7-Eleven,” the statement says.

A week after the attack, Salt Lake City police identified Yohannes as a person of interest in the attack. They issued a warrant for his arrest.

That night, the University of Utah issued a “high alert” after learning that Yohannes had been in the Marriott Library that morning.

Forensic tests tied Yohannes’ DNA to the murder scene, the statement says.

The Assistant Medical Examiner ruled Samples’ death as a homicide due to multiple stab wounds, Yohannes’ affidavit says, noting, “The female victim had over 26 sharp force trauma wounds among her arms, hands, chest, abdomen, face and legs.”

Yohannes has reportedly been booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, although he did not appear on the inmate roster as of Monday afternoon. He has been ordered held without bail, court records show.

Gephardt Daily will have more information as it becomes available.

 

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