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Utah mom arrested after telling neighbor she killed her 4-year-old, police say

SHARE Utah mom arrested after telling neighbor she killed her 4-year-old, police say
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West Valley police investigate the death of a young girl at a home at 4502 Losee Drive on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

WEST VALLEY CITY — Police arrested a mother of two suspected of murdering her 4-year-old daughter.

About 5 a.m. Tuesday, Nicole Terri Lester, who lives at 4502 W. Losee Drive (4355 South) went to her neighbor’s house, knocked on the door and told the neighbor she had killed her daughter, said West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku.

Lester’s daughter was identified as 4-year-old Laney Vos.

Lester, 29, also called emergency dispatchers and “said she had just murdered her daughter and that she wanted to turn herself in,” according to a police booking affidavit.

Police were called and arrived to find Lester, “sitting outside of her home wearing bloody clothing,” the affidavit states. Vainuku said the mother was placed into custody and officers entered the house. They found the body of a 4-year-old girl in the basement.

“Officers noted many sharp edged type wounds to the deceased female’s body,” the affidavit states.

Upstairs, a 6-year-old boy was asleep. The boy is Lester’s son, according to Vainuku. The children’s grandmother also lives with the family, but she was not home at the time.

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Nicole Terri Lester

Salt Lake County Jail

Lester was taken to the West Valley Police Department for questioning before being booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder. The boy’s grandmother returned to the home and took custody of the boy, Vainuku said. Police requested a search warrant to go through the house.

Lester was convicted of drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2012. She took a plea in abeyance, pleading guilty to the charges which were later dismissed after she successfully completed probation.

Also in 2012 she was charged with misdemeanor assault in a domestic violence incident, according to court records. The case was later dismissed due to witness issues.

In 2014, she pleaded guilty to assault in exchange for a second count of assault and a charge of domestic violence in the presence of a child being dismissed, according to court records. As part of her probation, she was ordered to undergo mental health and domestic violence evaluations.

In 2013 she pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct which also involved domestic violence, according to court records. Lester was ordered to undergo a domestic violence evaluation at that time.