LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two teens are in custody after police say they were on the run after killing a man on April 9. One of them is the victim’s daughter, and the other, her boyfriend.
Both are facing a murder charge and are expected to be charged as adults.
Police say they tried to cover up the murder with equipment like a chainsaw, and then they ran.
“It’s definitely disturbing when you have such young … a young man and a young woman that are being accused of such a horrific crime,” said Lt. Ray Spencer of Metro’s Homicide Section. He spoke exclusively with 8 News Now about the case Tuesday.
The body of Daniel Halseth, 45, was discovered by authorities in a west valley home Friday. His 16-year-old daughter and her 18-year-old boyfriend, Aaron Guerrero, are accused of killing him and trying to cover up the crime.
Spencer is releasing more details for the first time.
“There had been items purchased, such as lighter fluid, that was used to light the fire,” he shared. “There was also the purchase of a chainsaw and a circular saw and a handsaw, where attempts to dismember his body were made prior to the fire.”
The lieutenant noted they were captured on surveillance video buying the items:
“Through the investigation, we have been able to determine from surveillance video at various local big box stores where those items were purchased, where we have them on video surveillance, both of them purchasing different items, from the chainsaw to the bleach and items that were used to clean up the crime scene.” Spencer added, “There is surveillance video and receipts, indicating when the items were purchased here locally that were used in the cover up of the crime.”
The teens were missing since Friday.
Spencer says the daughter had stolen her father’s car, and there was also money stolen from him. Police are processing Halseth’s vehicle, which was the last the teens had used when they left the house.
Both were taken into custody in Salt Lake City Tuesday morning.
“Now that, hopefully, they are safe and sound, and they’re in the hands of the authorities at this point, but at least they’re not, you know, out there on their own, and they’re, I mean, they’re both pretty young people,” said Gabriel Grasso, Guerrero’s defense attorney. “…Now, reality sets in, and we have to see what’s up and what the evidence shows and how much, if any, trouble they’re in.”
Halseth’s family provided a statement to the I-Team, which reads:
Our family is heartbroken this has happened to Daniel. We love Daniel beyond words. He loved his children and was an amazing father. We ask for privacy and respect for the family at this time.”Halseth family
Spencer tells the I-Team detectives were interviewing Halseth’s daughter Tuesday.
“We do know that the father had recently made comments that he did not want his daughter dating Aaron,” the lieutenant revealed.
He also told us the victim had been out of town for about 10 days prior to his death. Halseth’s mother became concerned when she hadn’t heard from him and called a family friend, who said they would follow up. She then called Halseth’s cell phone Friday morning, then called the daughter, who said her father was in the shower and that his phone was broken. She noted this was why he couldn’t come to the phone.
The family friend reportedly called the daughter multiple times. They then drove to the house and found the front door open and no one there. When they looked inside the house, they saw signs of a fire and went through the house, finding Halseth’s body burned.
Spencer says there was blood evidence throughout the home.
In Nevada, a teen 16 and older is automatically charged as an adult. However, we are not releasing the 16-year-old daughter’s name until she appears in court here.
As the I-Team has reported, this story has a connection to Nevada politics. Halseth is the ex-husband of former Nevada State Sen. Elizabeth Halseth, who has since remarried and changed her last name. Court documents show they have three children, including the suspect.
Spencer says there is nothing criminal in the teens’ histories to indicate something like this could happen.