A suspect in a 2012 California killing is in jail following a fraudulent $3 purchase.
Cody Tripp, 33, was booked Wednesday in the Weber County Jail in Ogden, Utah, and is being held without bail, the Standard-Examiner reported on Thursday.
Tripp is the main suspect in the killing of 29-year-old Jordan Vigil, whose body was found in Tripp’s Castro Valley, California, home on May 14, 2012, authorities say.
Online records do not list an attorney for Tripp who could comment on the allegations.
Tripp is listed as one of the Alameda County sheriff’s office’s most wanted fugitives .
Finding Tripp after nearly seven years on the run all started with a fraud case regarding a $3.08 purchase at an Ogden store.
Ogden Police Detective Rachel Walker, who was assigned to the case, said Thursday she frequently investigates fraud cases, and treated the $3 case the same as she would for a much larger fraud case.
Walker found that a Sunset, Utah, homeowner, in the process of moving, suspected his credit cards were stolen by one of the people moving furniture. Walker said she began by asking the moving company for documentation for all the movers at the home.
Walker found an immigration card in those documents that she believed looked fraudulent. She was correct.
But Tripp is not in the United States illegally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok said.
Walker and other investigators utilized the department’s Area Tactical Analysis Center, which traced a phone number to an apartment in Salt Lake City.
Walker, another detective and an agent with the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement went to the apartment on Wednesday and confirmed Tripp’s identity. They also learned that Tripp was a homicide suspect. Police took Tripp into custody.
“This is a prime example of taking what appears to be a nothing case and digging to determine whether it is in fact a nothing case before moving on,” Ogden Police Chief Randy Watt said.
Tripp will be extradited to California in connection with Vigil’s death.