OGDEN, Utah (TCD) -- A 28-year-old man was taken into custody for allegedly hanging one man in a gym and killing another as part of a "purge."
According to Spanish Fork Police, on Friday, July 8, at 6:30 a.m., officers responded to a call at 1200 North 400 E. because a body had been found next to a dumpster. Spanish Fork Fire and EMS officials reportedly determined the middle-aged man, who they believed to be homeless, was deceased.
Police called his death "suspicious" and were investigating it as a homicide. He was later identified as 49-year-old Ryan Hooley.
On July 9, Ogden Police contacted Spanish Fork Police and said they arrested Christian Taele for an unrelated incident in Ogden.
According to the Standard-Examiner, on Saturday, July 9, Ogden Police responded to the 2400 block of Adams Boulevard at 7:10 p.m. for a report of a hanging. When they arrived, they reportedly found a 23-year-old male hanging from gym equipment and immediately transported him to a hospital. He is in critical condition and was initially hospitalized without any brain activity.
A witness allegedly told police Taele went up to the victim and started kicking and strangling him. Taele then allegedly brought the victim into the gym and hanged him by the neck.
An affidavit cited by the Standard-Examiner reportedly says Taele "provided a detailed explanation about his intention to take the victim’s life."
The victim and Taele reportedly did not know each other, but Taele allegedly said he committed both crimes because he was "directed by a higher power and to purge the city."
The Spanish Fork and Ogden Police Departments are reportedly working together on the case. Taele was booked into the Weber County Jail and was being held without bail.