LAYTON -- The father of Jessica Irene Jensen cannot believe his youngest child is dead.
"We're not supposed to lose our children," said Michael Jensen, of West Haven, in a telephone interview.
Salt Lake police identified Jessica Jensen, of Layton, through fingerprints, after her body was found under a bed at the Capitol Motel in Salt Lake City on Thursday.
Jessica Jensen would have been 26 years old on Monday.
Officers arrested Thomas Kumalac, 28, and booked him the Salt Lake County Jail on one count of murder, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstruction of justice.
Michael Jensen said his daughter, the youngest of seven, spent the first 10 years of her life in the Uintah Highlands, attending Uintah Elementary School. Jessica Jensen then moved to Layton, where she attended Central Davis Junior High School and Layton High School, where she was a cheerleader at both schools. She graduated from Mountain High School, an alternative high school serving 11th and 12th grade students in Davis School District.
Michael Jensen, who is also the spokesmen for the family, released a statement by e-mail.
"On behalf of the entire family of Jessica Jensen, we would like to thank everyone for their expressions of sympathy during this very trying time. Words can not express how we feel at the loss of our 'baby girl,'" he said.
"She is sorely missed by us all. The professionalism of the Salt Lake City Police personnel as well that of the Layton officer is also very appreciated. At this time, Jessica's family is grieving and does not wish to comment further," Jensen said.
According to Salt Lake County Sheriff's probable cause statement, Kumalac rented the motel room using his New Jersey identification card from May 27 to May 31.
The Utah State Medical Examiner investigator estimates that Jessica Jensen would have been dead for four to five days, which "would put her death in the time period the room was rented" by Kumalac, according to the probable cause statement.
Jessica Jensen was identified by her fingerprints, according to the jail document.
Police arrested Kulamac as he was "fleeing from Utah and attempting to enter Wendover, Nev.," on Thursday, according to the document. During questioning, Kulamac "admitted to activity causing her death" at the motel.
The cause of Jessica Jensen's death has not been released.