ROY, Utah — Police who have been digging on a Utah property for three days say the excavation is related to the search for a San Gabriel man who went missing under “suspicious circumstances” after heading to Utah to seek work last year.
Layton Police Lt. Travis Lyman said detectives are looking into the case of Victor Flores of San Gabriel, Calif., though he declined to say what was found inside the hole at a duplex in Roy, Utah, Tuesday.
“We’re still in the middle of processing that scene,” the lieutenant said. “We’re not releasing what, if anything, we’ve found yet.”
The reason for the search, he added: “We’re looking for any items of evidence.”
Lyman said police would make a statement regarding their findings once the search was complete, which he expected would be Wednesday or Thursday.
One officer looking into the hole was reportedly seen holding his nose, and police have used a tarp to shield the view of onlookers from their work.
Flores, then-25, departed from his home in San Gabriel in early May to seek work in Utah, San Gabriel police Lt. Darren Perrine said.
Within days of his arrival in Utah, he went missing, officials said.
Flores’ mother, who kept in frequent contact with him, grew worried when she lost touch with her son and reported him missing to Utah investigators, Perrine said.
While Layton investigators labelled the disappearance as occurring under, “suspicious circumstances,” Lyman said, “We can’t comment on what specifically those circumstances are. “It’s still part of a real active investigation.”
While the investigation is being by the Layton Police Department, Perrine said, San Gabriel police have assisted detectives in Utah through such measures as collecting a DNA samples from relatives for comparison.
It was unclear what his relationship is to the duplex where police are searching.
Lyman would say only that a “culmination” of evidence and interviews led police to believe, “there may be items of evidence at this address.”
Police used ground-penetrating radar last week at the site, where excavation began Monday, officials said.
Shortly after Flores was reported missing, Utah police spoke with residents of a home in Layton who told them they knew Flores, and that he was fine, Lyman said.
When police returned to re-interview the residents several weeks later, they had moved, he said.
A family friend told the Standard-Examiner of Ogden that Flores had gone to Utah with an acquaintance with the promise of a construction job, but had later called family members to say he had changed his mind. She added she was suspicious of the acquaintance.
Neighbors of the home in Roy where the excavation was taking place told the Ogden newspaper that police in tactical gear raided the house in the fall and made an arrest.
PHOTO of Victor Flores: courtesy