OGDEN — A 36-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on a murder charge in the death of Lopine “Chynna” Toilolo, whose body was found near the Ogden River on May 12.
The Weber County Sheriff’s Office booked Andy Dane Oketang Dennis on suspicion of murder and obstruction of justice. Formal charges had not yet been filed by the County Attorney’s Office.
Sheriff’s Lt. Cortney Ryan said Dennis and Toilolo were in a relationship.
According to 2nd District Court records, Dennis was awaiting trial on a domestic violence assault case involving Toilolo at the time her body was discovered. He is charged with class B misdemeanor assault in a Dec. 7, 2019, incident in Layton.
Dennis struck Toilolo “multiple times with a closed fist” in that alleged assault, a probable cause statement said.
“Her lower lip was swollen, her left eye was bruised, and she had a small contusion on her forehead,” the arrest document in the December case said.
Toilolo told police in December that the two had been arguing about their relationship.
Details on the cause and manner of Toilolo’s death were not revealed at a press conference the Sheriff’s Office held with Toilolo’s family on Wednesday afternoon. Ryan said the Sheriff’s Office wants to preserve the integrity of the case for the prosecution.
The obstruction of justice charge stems from alleged witness tampering by Dennis.
Dennis tried to get two witnesses in the case to “change their stories,” Ryan said.
Dennis is the only suspect, he said.
Sefu Toilolo, the victim’s father, made a few comments at the press conference.
“My daughter did not deserve to have this happen to her,” he said. “At least this will give us some closure.”
He praised investigators and said the family has “faith in the process.”
The family declined to answer questions.
On May 12, sheriff’s deputies and paramedics responded to a 911 call about a body in the area of 400 Ogden Canyon, west of the Alaskan Inn.
The family had posted a missing-person alert on social media after she failed to return home to West Jordan as expected two days earlier.