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July 7, 2023

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SLCPD Detectives Book Homicide Suspect into Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — Today, the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Homicide Squad booked 53-year-old Robert Boyatt into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on charges related to the July 3rd murder of a 61-year-old man.

The victim is identified as Victor Hershberger.

Boyatt is charged with Murder, Failure to Remain at the Scene of a Crash Involving Death, Driving on a Denied License, and Obstruction of Justice.

On Thursday, July 6, 2023, acting on information gathered during the investigation, members of the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (VCAT) and SWAT Team located Boyatt in Grantsville.

Detectives believe Boyatt had been camping in the nearby mountains to evade capture.

Due to Boyatt’s past criminal record, the likelihood that he would run from police if confronted, and the fact that he was known to possibly have access to weapons and ammunition, the SLCPD deployed multiple resources to the scene, including a drone, police tracking K9 teams, and a tactical rescue vehicle.

SLCPD SWAT officers safely took Boyatt into custody without incident.

Officers processed the location where SWAT officers took Boyatt into custody for evidence.

This investigation started at 1:15 a.m., on Monday, July 3, 2023, when SLC911 got a call about a crash involving a car and a person riding a scooter near 1020 West 1000 North.

Based on the preliminary information, detectives believe Boyatt intentionally hit Hershberger and left the scene without stopping or rendering first aid.

Hershberger died on scene.

No further details about this case are being released. Media should refer to the Utah Court XChange website for copies of any publicly available documents associated with this case.

A Salt Lake City Police Department Public Information Officer (PIO) will be available for interviews at 9 a.m. at the Public Safety Building on Friday June 7, 2023.

The Salt Lake City Police Department thanks the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake and the Utah Department of Public Safety for their assistance in this case.

Charges are only allegations, and every arrested person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Salt Lake City Police Department is not the custodian of record for jail booking photos. Utah Code 17-22-30 mostly prohibits the release of jail booking photos. Generally, a jail booking photo can only be released by the custodian of record after a conviction or when law enforcement determines the person is a fugitive or an imminent threat to a person or public safety. In Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office is the custodian of record for jail booking photos.

The SLCPD Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (VCAT) is a specialty unit within the department responsible for combating violent crime, by identifying and apprehending violent criminals and fugitives.  This unit works under the SLCPD Special Operations Division but also works closely with the Investigations, Patrol and Data and Research divisions to identify and direct targeted enforcement of hot spot areas and areas of rising violent crime.