A detention hearing was held Monday morning for a Vernal youth who has been charged in the death of 6-year-old Veronica Fitzen of Vernal.
The youth, 16, who has not been identified but who lived in Vernal, appeared before 8th District Judge Dennis Draney in the Vernal Youth Detention Center.The youth will continue to be held in the detention facility until a circuit court arraignment, scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, said Uintah County Attorney Alvin Nash.
"The court determined for his own safety and in view of the gravity of the crime he (should) still continue in detention there," Nash said, adding that a decision whether to certify the youth as an adult will be made after an information is filed with the circuit court at the Tuesday hearing.
Vernal Police Chief Robert Downard said the youth, who led officers Friday to the child's body in the remote Little Brush Creek area approximately 25 miles north of Vernal, has been charged in a referral to the juvenile court with first-degree murder, child kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault.
Downard said Creighton Horton, a state assistant attorney general, will prosecute the case.
Meanwhile, the police chief is asking a man and woman who were in the area to contact Vernal police at 789-5835. The two were sitting reading books in the back of a light blue truck with a camper shell. The truck was parked in a gravel pit area off U-191 in the area of Little Bush Creek Road Aug. 7, the chief said.
Downard said officers have received information that a youth who was driving a light yellow Datsun hatchback sedan stopped and talked to the couple.
The officer said the two "are material witnesses in the case, and we need to talk to them as soon possible."