A University of Utah film student has been booked into jail for investigation into the June 1990 stabbing death of a UCLA student.
Duncan Gordon Martinez, 24, was arrested on June 2 and is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail on a fugitive warrant by Los Angeles police. He is suspected in the death of Ronald Steven Baker, whose body was found near the mouth of a railroad tunnel in Chatsworth Park in Los Angeles.Baker, 21, Woodland Hills, Calif., was an astrophysics major and a member of the Mystic Circle who studied the occult religion Wicca, which follows a benevolent philosophy of unity with nature.
He was stabbed several times on the night of the 1990 summer solstice and was so bloody that police first thought he had been hit by a train.
Investigators originally thought the murder might be related to the occult. But Los Angeles police detective Rick Jackson said they now believe "it has nothing to do with a cult or Wicca or anything like that."
Jackson would not say what the motive was because the murder indictment filed against Martinez by a Los Angeles County grand jury is sealed until his arraignment.
In Utah, Martinez pleaded guilty to breaking into a building in December 1993 and was ordered to pay $1,295 in fines, submit to substance-abuse treatment and undergo a mental-health evaluation, according to court docket records. He also was placed on three years probation.
Martinez is scheduled for a bond hearing Tuesday before 3rd District Judge Philip K. Palmer.
He arrived in Salt Lake City in late 1991 and enrolled at the University of Utah in September 1992, Jackson said. He has been regularly attending school and was registered for next year, according to a school registration official.
Martinez was staying in a Salt Lake County apartment with roommates and was an employee of Mulboon's restaurant in Trolley Square.