“Need Help 19F.”
When an officer first saw that ad on social media, his immediate thought was that it was somebody looking for drugs. Then he got a message from the poster, according to KSL.
“‘Kill my ex-fiancé. He’s trying to get custody of our daughter,” it said, according to the site.
The post had come from someone in Santaquin, Utah, claiming to be a 19-year-old female and was posted on the app “Whisper,” which allows users to post photos, videos and text anonymously, Fox 13 reported.
The officer realized this person was looking for a hit man and started messaging the anonymous person for the next few days to work out the details, KSL reported.
The person gave the officer a last name, address, work schedule, and picture of the target, which was 22-year-old Taylor Bedolla, according to Fox 13.
“As the conversation continued, I confirmed with this individual that they wanted Bedolla dead,” the officer wrote in charging documents, according to the Daily Herald.
They got down to specifics: The “hit man” would receive $5,000 for the deed, to be paid after the anonymous messenger received a life insurance payout, Gephardt Daily reported. Until then, police said, the poster told the undercover officer to take cash and electronics from the target’s home as a sort of down payment, the Daily Herald reported.
The officer made a decision and reached out to the supposed target.
“Believing that he was actually speaking to the ex-girlfriend and genuinely concerned for (the man’s) safety, the officer contacted Bedolla at his … residence and explained to him what he believed was going on and the nature of the investigation,” a police narrative obtained by the Deseret News said, according to the news site.
But as the investigation continued, the officer began to get suspicious and soon realized Bedolla might have been the person calling in the hit — on himself.
The officer had visited the actual ex-fiancee’s workplace and gone over surveillance videos to see whether she was sending text messages at the time the message app said she was — but she never did, Gephardt Daily reported. The officer decided to talk to Bedolla, and the location feature on the Whisper app notified him that Bedolla’s house was the location where the original messages were sent, according to the paper.
In a Nov. 20 interview, police said Bedolla “admitted that he had created the Whisper account, posed as his ex-girlfriend, and solicited the murder. (He) explained that he was depressed at the time, wanted to die, but couldn’t do it himself,” the Deseret News reported. Police said he thought posing as a woman would make people take him seriously, according to the site.
Bedolla was charged with criminal solicitation and obstruction of justice, and has a court hearing scheduled for for Dec. 18, KSL reported.