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Unified police mourning 2nd sudden death of an officer in as many weeks

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SOUTH SALT LAKE — Unified police are mourning the loss of a veteran detective who suffered a medical condition while on duty Thursday.

"I am heartbroken and devastated to inform you that early this morning, UPD detective Brian Holdaway suffered a medical condition and has fallen in the line of duty surrounded by friends and colleagues at the sheriff’s office building, who heroically tried to reverse this tragedy," according to a message by Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder posted on the department's Facebook page.

"Unfortunately, the efforts were unsuccessful and Brian passed away in the company of family and friends at Intermountain Medical Center. Our hearts go out to the Holdaway family and to all of you who knew and worked with Brian," the sheriff stated.

Holdaway had more than 19 years' law enforcement experience. He was working in the special victims unit dealing with sex crimes at the time of his death.

In 2013, while working at the department's Holladay precinct, Holdaway was presented with the chief's award for breaking the high-profile case of Greg Peterson, a former businessman and GOP activist who was eventually charged with 25 sex offenses for raping or sexually abusing multiple women.

One woman who was with Holdaway at the time of the medical incident said in a Facebook comment that she was grateful for how officers and others handled the situation.

"To witness the honor, respect and dignity that was given to Brian today from fellow law enforcement officers was amazing," she stated. "He was an amazing man and will be missed every day."

Another of Holdaway's colleagues also praised him on Facebook, calling him "a great guy and an even better detective."

Holdaway's passing was the second sudden death in the department in two weeks. Unified police detective Brooks Green, who worked in the domestic violence unit, died Jan. 25 near his home.

"Despite immediate medical attention and best efforts of those on scene, including members of the Unified police, Unified fire and later (Intermountain Medical Center) experts, Brooks was not able to survive," Unified police said in a statement at the time.

Green died from a "sudden cardiac event," his family said in an online obituary. His family said he was a trained hostage negotiator who found police work to be "his true calling in life."

"Brooks was always cheerful and always happy and always had a big smile on his face," the obituary said. "Brooks loved his work and the special officers and people of the UPD law enforcement family he worked with. He has left a large hole in the department and in the hearts of his fellow officers."

A viewing on behalf of Green is set for 6-8 p.m. Friday at the Heber City LDS Church meetinghouse at 325 E. 500 South. A schedule of services for Holdaway had not been announced as of late Thursday.