Steven Chance Brinkerhoff | Unified Police via KSL.com
SALT LAKE CITY (KSL.com) — A California man was charged Tuesday with murder in the brutal killing of a massage parlor employee in Midvale who was stabbed 56 times.
Steven Chance Brinkerhoff, 39, of Redondo Beach, California, is charged in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony, and accused of stabbing Yuping Jiao, 45, at A+ Massage, 7444 S. State, on Jan. 4. Unified police say she was the victim of a “brutal and tragic homicide.”
“Detectives reviewed video surveillance of businesses near A + Massage and observed a male in a wheelchair arriving at the parlor on Jan. 4 at 12:30 p.m. and leaving at 2:25 p.m. The footage shows the male only has one leg,” according to charging documents.
Evidence was collected from the scene and sent to the Utah State Crime Lab for DNA testing. Blood collected from a piece of Jiao’s clothing was put into a national database and matched with Brinkerhoff, the charges state.
Unified police also collected cellphone data that showed Brinkerhoff was in the area of A+ Massage on the day of the killing, and had made contact with Jiao via text message.
Investigators also learned that Brinkerhoff “has an extensive criminal history in California to include possession of a dangerous weapon, assault on a peace officer, fighting in public, drugs, possession of stolen property, and violation of court order to prevent domestic violence.”
After getting a DNA match using the Combined DNA Index System, detectives received information that Brinkerhoff was in California, and forwarded their information to the U.S. Marshals Service, which assisted in finding and arresting him.
“Detectives learned that after the murder, the defendant fled back to California, and is currently in custody in California,” according to the charges.
Brinkerhoff was arrested Jan. 19 outside a massage parlor in California.
Yuping Jiao, 45, was found stabbed to death in A+ Massage, 7444 S. State, on Jan. 4. | Unified Police Department)
During a press conference Tuesday to announce the criminal charge, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera didn’t disclose many other details about the brutal killing beyond what was written in court documents, including a possible motive for the crime or what happened inside the massage parlor.
The charges, however, state that the 56 stab wounds were found all over Jiao’s body, including her back, neck, shoulder, arms, knee and head, and included “a large deep laceration … on her left bicep.” Prosecutors say slice marks were also found on her fingers, and “multiple small prick marks” were found on her right ankle in addition to “two areas where it appeared a small chunk of skin had been removed.”
Furthermore, bandages and “untied knot areas of string” were collected as evidence, according to charging documents.
“This was a really brutal crime,” Rivera said, while also noting that the first responding officers “knew immediately this was going to take a lot of work to find this individual.”
Rivera, who along with Midvale Mayor Marcus Stevenson was also at the press conference, said it was important to let residents know that a person was in custody for the horrendous crime, which she hopes will bring some relief to people who had been on edge since Jan. 4.
“These type of cases take a toll on a community,” the sheriff said.
Unified police and the district attorney’s office will now go through the process of having Brinkerhoff extradited back to Utah to stand trial.
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