Police reopen fatal 2007 hit-and-run case as homicide investigation

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SOUTH SALT LAKE — South Salt Lake police have reopened a 13-year-old unsolved fatal hit-and-run incident which detectives are now calling a homicide investigation, according to court documents.

Just before 1 a.m. on Feb. 20, 2007, Donna Nordgren, 49, of Murray, was found lying on her back in a parking lot at 3244 S. 300 West.

“Donna was unresponsive and transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead. Injuries to Donna’s body suggested that Donna had been run over by a vehicle resulting in her death. The medical examiner also reported Donna had blunt force trauma to her chest and head and was victim of a ‘hit and run,’” according to a search warrant affidavit.

Several items were collected at the scene near Nordgren’s body, including a pack of cigarettes, a matchbook, two cigarette butts and a beer can. But those items were never sent to the Utah State Crime Lab to be processed, according to the affidavit.

In March 2019, a different South Salt Lake detective began looking at the case and discovered “the initial investigator overlooked and or missed critical steps resulting in this case going cold and being closed by the initial investigator. This case has been reopened and is an active homicide investigation,” the warrant says.

South Salt Lake police spokeswoman Danielle Croyle on Monday said the case had been inactive until recently. She said it’s always good to have a fresh set of eyes look at any old case, as sometimes a new detective can put a new perspective on an investigation.

In this case, South Salt Lake police detective Dustin Lee Hansen sent the untested items to the crime lab to be tested for DNA evidence and fingerprints.

Hansen learned during the course of his investigation that Nordgren may have been run over intentionally, according to the affidavit.

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It was learned that the day before her death, Nordgren and other family members had attended the funeral of Nordgren’s mother, the affidavit states. After, the group went to Frankie and Johnnie’s Tavern, 3 W. 4800 South.

While at the bar, police say Nordgren met two other women and the group left the tavern together and went to a nearby Maverick station, 530 W. 4800 South. Video surveillance shows the group at the convenience store about 10:20 p.m.

The group then went to another club at 921 S. 300 West, according to police. It was after the three women left that club that the death occurred.

According to the search warrant, the two women whom Nordgren had met are sisters who frequently fought with each other, and one of the sisters may have run over the other and in the process hit Nordgren.

When officers arrived on scene after Nordgren was run over, one of the sisters was present and “expressed a range of emotions from anger to nothing at all,” the warrant states.

A passerby who had stopped to help observed the sister take Nordgren’s identification and put it in the witnesses’ vehicle behind a back seat, according to …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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