Man with Minnesota ties suspected in Utah murder

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Austin Boutain, 24, is wanted in connection with an attempted carjacking and fatal shooting in Salt Lake City. Photo courtesy of Salt Lake City Police Department. 

A man with Minnesota ties is in custody in connection with a fatal shooting and attempted carjacking near the University of Utah Monday night, according to the Salt Lake City Police Department

Authorities believe 24-year-old Austin Boutain shot a 23-year-old man by the entrance to Red Butte Canyon in Salt Lake City after attempting to hijack his car. The university identified the victim as ChenWei Guo, an international student from China. 

Boutain is from Mississippi, but was adopted by a family in Alexandria, Minnesota along with his two siblings. He lived with them from 11 to 14 years old before setting off on his own, according to his adopted mother, Rosie Boutain. 

His brother, Hunter Boutain, was thought to have contacted a brain-eating amoeba after swimming in Lake Minnewaska in July 2015. Health officials later confirmed he died of streptococcal meningoencephalitis. 

Austin also has a son who lives in Minnesota. The Douglas County sheriff’s office contacted the child’s adoptive parents to confirm he was safe and not with him. 

Authorities now believe Austin may be also be connected to a murder in Colorado

After discovering the pickup truck he was driving was stolen, Utah police asked for a welfare check on the owner. The owner of the pickup was found dead in an RV park in Golden Colorado. He had been dead for several days and his death is being investigated as a homicide. 

Austin's wife, Kathleen Boutain, is also a person of interest in the Colorado murder. She is currently in custody in Utah. 

Authorities searched the University of Utah campus and the nearby mountains for Austin, but called off the searches on Tuesday morning. He is in custody as of Tuesday afternoon. 

Rosie Boutain, the suspect's mother, sent the following statement to Fox 9: 

“We are thankful and relieved for the peaceful apprehension of our son. We grieve his irrevocable choices. Our hearts are broken for the victims friends and family ...can’t even fathom the level of shock and grief they must be experiencing. We thought we knew what losing a child was all about but this enters into a whole new realm of heartbreak... there are just no words. Instead we send up our earnest and heartfelt prayers for all involved and encourage everyone to support the victims families in this time of need."