West Point neighbors shocked by murders, say suspect 'a really good kid'

May 24 2013 - 12:16am

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Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson gives the department’s statement to the media Thursday outside the home where two boys, ages 4 and 10, were found dead with stab wounds Wednesday in West Point. The victims’ 15-year-old brother, Ava Vidinhar (below right), was booked on two counts of homicide into the Farmington Bay Youth Detention Center. Richardson says the initial investigation shows it was not a premeditated action by the teen but rather a “reactionary” one. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Medical examiner officials remove the body of one of the victims as law enforcement officials from Davis County investigate the deaths of two young boys Thursday in West Point. An older brother was being questioned Thursday in the deaths and was booked into a juvenile detention center, police say. (PAT REAVY/The Associated Press)
Aza Vidinhar is being held in the killings of his brothers, police say.
Law enforcement officials from Davis County investigate the deaths of two young boys Thursday, May 23, 2013, in West Point, Utah. A teenager was arrested Thursday in the deaths of his two younger brothers, ages 4 and 10, at the family home in a Utah subdivision of new homes and tidy lawns, police said. Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson said authorities believe the boys died from knife wounds. It appears the 15-year-old boy acted alone, he said. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Law enforcement officials from Davis County investigate the deaths of two young boys Thursday morning, May 23, 2013, in West Point. An older brother was being questioned Thursday in the deaths of two Utah boys found by their mother when she returned home, police said. (AP Photo/Alan Neves)
Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson gives the department’s statement to the media Thursday outside the home where two boys, ages 4 and 10, were found dead with stab wounds Wednesday in West Point. The victims’ 15-year-old brother, Ava Vidinhar (below right), was booked on two counts of homicide into the Farmington Bay Youth Detention Center. Richardson says the initial investigation shows it was not a premeditated action by the teen but rather a “reactionary” one. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Balloons and stuffed animals are placed around the mail box of the residence where two boys were found dead in West Point, Thursday May 23, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Balloons and stuffed animals are placed around the mail box of the residence where two boys were found dead in West Point, Thursday May 23, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson gives the department’s statement to the media Thursday outside the home where two boys, ages 4 and 10, were found dead with stab wounds Wednesday in West Point. The victims’ 15-year-old brother, Ava Vidinhar (below right), was booked on two counts of homicide into the Farmington Bay Youth Detention Center. Richardson says the initial investigation shows it was not a premeditated action by the teen but rather a “reactionary” one. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Medical examiner officials remove the body of one of the victims as law enforcement officials from Davis County investigate the deaths of two young boys Thursday in West Point. An older brother was being questioned Thursday in the deaths and was booked into a juvenile detention center, police say. (PAT REAVY/The Associated Press)
Aza Vidinhar is being held in the killings of his brothers, police say.
Law enforcement officials from Davis County investigate the deaths of two young boys Thursday, May 23, 2013, in West Point, Utah. A teenager was arrested Thursday in the deaths of his two younger brothers, ages 4 and 10, at the family home in a Utah subdivision of new homes and tidy lawns, police said. Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson said authorities believe the boys died from knife wounds. It appears the 15-year-old boy acted alone, he said. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Law enforcement officials from Davis County investigate the deaths of two young boys Thursday morning, May 23, 2013, in West Point. An older brother was being questioned Thursday in the deaths of two Utah boys found by their mother when she returned home, police said. (AP Photo/Alan Neves)
Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson gives the department’s statement to the media Thursday outside the home where two boys, ages 4 and 10, were found dead with stab wounds Wednesday in West Point. The victims’ 15-year-old brother, Ava Vidinhar (below right), was booked on two counts of homicide into the Farmington Bay Youth Detention Center. Richardson says the initial investigation shows it was not a premeditated action by the teen but rather a “reactionary” one. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Balloons and stuffed animals are placed around the mail box of the residence where two boys were found dead in West Point, Thursday May 23, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Balloons and stuffed animals are placed around the mail box of the residence where two boys were found dead in West Point, Thursday May 23, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)

WEST POINT -- Neighbors are reeling from the shock of learning two young boys were stabbed to death Wednesday night.

Aza Vidinhar, a 15-year-old brother of the boys, was booked on two counts of homicide into Farmington Bay Youth Detention Center, as of Thursday, said Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson.

The names of the young boys, ages 4 and 10, have not been officially released.

The boys were found in the main areas of the upstairs and basement with multiple "penetrating knife wounds," Richardson said.

The case is being investigated as a homicide. An exact cause of death will be determined once the state Office of the Medical Examiner conducts autopsies.

But many who live on the quiet West Point street described the family as one of the most kind, considerate and compassionate families in the neighborhood and said their children have played with the boys.

Brandy Nye, who lives to the north of the home where the tragedy occurred, said, "My boys knew the family pretty well and considered them friends."

Nye became concerned when she saw emergency vehicles pull up in front of the house around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Richardson said the mother of the boys called 911 when she returned home from a dance recital and found her 4-year-old son dead in the main living area. She assumed at the time that her two other sons, who had been home, were missing.

Officers later found the 10-year-old's body in the basement main living area.

Layton police found Aza Vidinhar, the 15-year-old, in Layton close to midnight, walking on a street. Police had released his name at the time as a person of interest and were concerned about his safety, as well as the public's, Richardson said.

Police took the teenager to a local hospital for an evaluation before he was booked in the detention center.

Richardson said the teenager had minor wounds "that are consistent with that type of attack."

He also had "trace evidence of blood" on him that "will bring him back to the scene," Richardson said.

Richardson said he cannot speculate on the motive behind the attack but did say the two siblings who died were adopted and the teenager was the natural child of the couple. The couple has one other biological child; the other two children are also adopted.

The father of the children is in the military and is returning from Alabama, where he had been on temporary duty.

Richardson said the mother is "extremely distraught."

"This type of incident is an extremely emotional one for law enforcement personnel and public safety officials, as well as for the neighbors," he said.

At the house, investigators recovered the weapons that were used, Richardson said, but he would not indicate the specific type of weapon used.

Richardson did say the initial investigation shows it was not a premeditated action by the teenager, but rather a "reactionary" one.

The Davis County Attorney's Office released a statement Thursday, which says:

"We grieve for the family involved. There are more questions than answers at this point. The teen in custody has a presumption of innocence. Facts are being gathered to assist with critical decisions. We will say no more at this time. Our primary concern is for the family of these children."

The 15-year-old could be charged as an adult, but first, if prosecutors decide to go that direction, they will have to go to juvenile court to certify him as an adult under the Serious Youth Offender Act.

"My kids are just devastated," Nye said.

She kept them home from school Thursday to give them time to mourn.

Three teams of crisis counselors were at Lakeside Elementary, West Point Elementary and West Point Junior High schools Thursday, said Christopher Williams, spokesman for the district.

The 15-year-old attended West Point Junior High, and the 10-year-old attended Lakeside Elementary.

"We're praying for the family and are asking everyone else to do the same," Nye said.

Angela Moffo, who lives on the same street, said when her son heard what happened, he asked his family to kneel to pray for the family.

"My heart goes out to the family," Moffo said, wiping tears from her face.

Ann Durrwachter, who lives next door to the home, placed flowers and stuffed animals by a mailbox where crime scene tape was tied. The makeshift memorial grew as the day progressed.

Durrwachter said her two children have played with the children next door many times. "They are a sweet family."

She described the 15-year-old as a "really good kid. Well-mannered. He went to school with my little brother. He was the model (kid) that every mom dreams of having."

She wants the family to know they aren't alone. "If (the mother) ever needs anything, she has friends here for her."

Chaundra Wilson said her children played often with the family. "They are the sweetest, kindest family and so compassionate," she said.

Her children also had a difficult time sleeping Wednesday night after hearing the news. They all slept in the living room. "We had an impromptu sleepover," Wilson said.

The teenage boy had run away in 2011 for a brief period, but was found by officers.

Richardson said intervention was provided by the family's ecclesiastical leaders. There have been no other reported incidents at the home.

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