OGDEN — A man who murdered his girlfriend and then fled to Mexico was sent to prison Wednesday.
Gutberto Heras-Corrales, 42, was ordered to serve at least 15 years and up to life in prison for killing Noemi Rodriguez, 26, nearly a decade ago. He was found guilty by a jury in November.
Police believe Rodriguez, a mother of three, was stabbed to death on Christmas Day in 2008. Her body was found buried in the snow a day later by a snowplow driver at the Huntsville Cemetery.
Rodriguez was stabbed multiple times in the neck and throat.
The couple's relationship had deteriorated and Rodriguez kicked Heras-Corrales out of her Layton home on Dec. 18, 2008. Two days later, Heras-Corrales and Rodriguez got into a fight at an Ogden bar that resulted in him being kicked out of the bar, court documents state.
Hours after the fight, prosecutors believe Heras-Corrales burned down Rodriguez's mobile home in Davis County while no one was home. Rodriguez told friends that Heras-Corrales had threatened to burn down the mobile home and she was making plans to move to California out of fear for her safety, according to charging documents.
On Dec. 25, 2008, the day Rodriguez is believed to have been killed, Heras-Corrales went to his mother, who was visiting from Mexico, and told her it was time to return home, police say. Video from a border crossing in Arizona showed a vehicle matching Heras-Corrales' truck driving into Mexico the next day, according to a warrant.
Heras-Corrales was arrested by Mexican authorities in Culiacan, Sinaloa, in January 2013 and detained until he was extradited to Utah in July 2015. At the time of Rodriguez's death, authorities said Heras-Corrales was in the country illegally and had a history of aggravated re-entry into the United States.
Heras-Corrales is charged with aggravated arson, a first-degree felony, in connection with the trailer fire and is due in court Feb. 12.
Free and confidential help and support for victims and survivors of domestic violence is available 24/7 at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or visiting udvc.org.