Missing-mom suspect found guilty in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – A man suspected in the disappearance of a Carson City mother is facing up to 16 years in prison after a Utah jury found him guilty Wednesday of pointing a gun at police when they approached him for questioning.
Israel “Juan Carlos” Tellez, 36, was found guilty of felony aggravated assault, possession of a dangerous weapon by an unauthorized person and misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon. He was acquitted of a charge of aggravated assault, according to Salt Lake prosecutor Fred Burmeister.
Carson City investigators believe Tellez has information on the whereabouts of Bertha Anguiano, 33, missing since Nov. 10 when her bloodied 3-year-old son was found abandoned near a Dayton grocery store.
On Nov. 22, police found Tellez in a Salt Lake City parking lot where he pulled a gun when officers approached him for questioning.
“I’m very pleased with the outcome of the Utah case,” said Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong. “It pleases me to know that Mr. Tellez will be punished accordingly. He is obviously a person of great concern to us, and I see his incarceration as an advantage to society in general.”
District Attorney Noel Waters said he has yet to make a decision on whether to charge Tellez in Anguiano’s disappearance.
“I presume we’ll have an idea of his whereabouts for at least the next few months,” said Waters. Burmeister said Tellez could receive probation.
Carson City Sheriff’s investigator Steve Johnson was with Salt Lake authorities the day Tellez was approached and testified to his part in the apprehension during Tuesday’s hearing.
Johnson said Wednesday a hold has been placed on Tellez by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services because he is not an American citizen. Tellez came into the country two years ago on a six-month visitor’s visa.
Once he serves the sentence to be imposed by a Salt Lake City judge May 3, Tellez will be extradited to Nevada on a traffic warrant from Lyon County.
Anguiano, a married mother of three, was last seen Nov. 10 outside her son’s elementary school talking with a man. Some 90 minutes later, her 3-year-old son was found and told police “Juan” killed his mother.
A search of Tellez’s vehicle, recovered after his arrest, revealed blood in the back seat that genetically matched a female relative of her 3-year-old son. The blood on the boy’s clothing also matched the blood in the vehicle. Tellez has denied any knowledge of Anguiano’s whereabouts, according to police.
Several searches of area mines and fields have been unable to uncover any clues to the missing woman’s location.
“There are no new developments in the search for Mrs. Anguiano,” Furlong said.
Contact F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.