34-year-old Daniel Rivera has been charged with manslaughter and desecration of a human body in connection with the murder of 25-year-old Victor Flores.
Jessica and Kelby Criswell live right across the street from where police found Flores’ body. “I thought he’d get a little bit more for, I mean, murdering someone,” said Jessica Criswell.
Kelby Criswell told ABC 4 Utah that Flores came to Roy from California because Rivera had promised him work. “The guy promised him work and never delivered work but he was living with him at the house with Sarah and then during a party got into an argument and that’s when it happened.”
Sarah Munn is Daniel Rivera’s girlfriend and mother of his three children. It was in Munn's backyard where Flores' body was buried.
"From what I heard,” explained Criswell, “they called the city and had them come out and mark where they could dig to make sure it was okay and they didn't hit any gas lines or power lines to make sure they could hide it well."
But they didn't hide it well enough and nine months after he was reported missing; Flores was found.
Kelby Criswell explained what police found in Munn’s backyard. "The sleeping bag he was stuffed in and the mattress that had been buried down there with him," said Criswell.
Weber County Attorney Dee Smith couldn't talk about the specifics of the case, but says because it came in initially as a missing person's case it took quite a bit of time to connect what exactly happened to Flores.
"They really had to work backwards and figure out what happened,” said Smith.
Details of what happened on May 9, 2011 still aren't being shared, but the fact that prosecutors charged Rivera with manslaughter and not murder gives some clues. The difference between manslaughter and murder is intent and, Smith says, the charge could also be used in the case of self defense.
"We didn't file a reduced charge, again, we filed a charge of manslaughter based on the evidence available to us,” said Smith.
Still neighbors who saw the nightmare unfold before their eyes feel for the victim’s family.
"My heart goes out to them and with the charges being so low,” said Jessica Criswell. “I just feel horrible for the family."
Rivera is due back in court September 25th. He’s facing a maximum of 15 years in prison for the manslaughter charge and another five years for the charge of desecrating of a human body.