SALT LAKE CITY — Police have arrested a man who they say is expected to be charged with murder in the death of an Iraqi refugee found stabbed in his Millcreek home last week.
Karrar Suhail, 25, is accused of killing Alaa "Ali" Alkhatawi, 46, Unified police announced Friday. Suhail was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on unrelated charges this week, police said, and a potential murder charge is being considered by the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.
Officers responding to requests for a welfare check after Alkhatawi had been unreachable found him dead in his home, 3365 S. 900 East, on Dec. 9. It is believed he died sometime between Dec. 8 and 9.
When officers arrived, they looked in the windows and could see a "significant" amount of blood, according to police. They forced their way inside and discovered Alkhatawi had been stabbed multiple times.
Investigators identified Suhail, an associate of Alkhatawi who was at the residence around the time he was killed, as a person of interest, Unified police said Friday.
Friends said Alkhatawi was a refugee who was among the estimated 3 million rwho fled Iraq in 1991 during Desert Storm and sought shelter in Saudi Arabia. He was eventually resettled in the United States.
Alkhatawi's family remains in Iraq, according to friends. They are now trying to raise enough money to have his body sent back to Iraq so he can be buried next to his father.
According to state court records, Suhail pleaded guilty in 2015 to misdemeanor charges of attempted forgery and theft by deception. He was convicted in 2014 of aggravated assault, stemming from an incident two years prior, and in a separate case, he admitted to one count of riot.