OGDEN -- An arrest warrant for Stephen Phillip Ellenwood, accused of the 1993 homicide of a 92-year-old Ogden woman, had been sealed to protect another victim and witnesses, according to court documents
Weber County Attorney Dee Smith explained why the warrant was kept under wraps in an affidavit unsealed Friday.
"Stephen Ellenwood is currently not in custody and does not know that his DNA profile matched the DNA taken from the deceased's home and another victim," Smith wrote in the affidavit that was sealed along with the arrest warrant on April 26.
"He also does not know that his fingerprints match those taken from the deceased home. Releasing this information prior to service of the arrest warrant would provide an advantage ... to learn what the police now know and to abscond or evade apprehension. It may also endanger the other victim and other witness."
Also, if the arrest warrant hadn't been sealed, the case likely would have been reported by the media, which may have alerted Ellenwood, Smith said.
"It is likely that this information prior to service of the warrant would be publicized, placing Stephen Ellenwood on notice," the affidavit states.
Ellenwood was arrested May 8 following a foot chase with police in Haines, Alaska, where he had reportedly been living with his girlfriend since last summer.
He has been charged with aggravated murder.
Ellenwood is accused of climbing through a window into Room 105 at Adams Place, a retirement home near the corner of 24th Street and Adams Avenue in Ogden around 2 a.m. May 3, 1993, and sexually assaulting and beating Mae Odle, according to Ogden police.
Six days later, a hospitalized Odle died from injuries to her head, chest and extremities.
An employee of Adams Place saw a man run from Odle's room, down a hallway and out of the building, states the arrest warrant affidavit.
Around 5 a.m. on the day of Odle's attack, a 57-year-old woman was sexually assaulted while walking to a bus stop two blocks from Odle's retirement home.
DNA links Ellenwood to both crimes, Ogden Police Lt. Danielle Croyle has said.
However, charges have not been filed against Ellenwood in the assault on the 57-year-old woman.
After Ogden police received information about the DNA match, Ellenwood's name was searched with help from the police department's Real Time Crime Center and the Rocky Mountain Information Network, Croyle said.
Several public records and state driver's license records were searched. An address for Ellenwood was identified in Alaska, Croyle said, and Ogden Police Detective Rick Childress made contact with the Alaska State Police for assistance.