ELKO – A Spring Creek man who was arrested for the murder of a 16-year-old girl apparently fabricated a story about her leaving a school parking lot in a green pickup with a man in a cowboy hat, according to a statement of probable cause written by an Elko County Sheriff’s detective.
Instead, suspect Bryce E. Dickey, 18, is accused of killing Gabrielle “Britney” Ujlaky on the afternoon of March 8 and leaving her partially clothed body in the hills between Spring Creek and Elko.
Dickey was charged Monday with open murder with the use of deadly weapon, or in the alternative, felony murder during sexual assault or attempted sexual assault with use of a deadly weapon.
Deputies were called at 8:45 p.m. March 8 regarding a report of a possible missing or runaway girl. Their initial investigation led to a phone conversation with Dickey, who told them he had picked up Gabrielle in Elko and they drove around. He said she wanted to be dropped off at Spring Creek High School to meet a friend, so he drove there at 4:30 p.m. and she walked over to a green Ford F150 pickup that was in the parking lot.
Dickey said he then drove to the Maverik on Boyd-Kennedy Road, and saw the green pickup drive away from the school.
“After the initial investigation a decision was made not to make a formal missing persons report,” wrote the detective.
Less than an hour after deputies were dispatched, they requested Gabrielle’s cellphone be “pinged.” It showed no current activity and the last activity was at 5:22 p.m. in the Boyd-Kennedy area.
A second deputy spoke with Dickey a short time later while he was out searching for Gabrielle.
The following morning, a deputy took a formal missing person/runaway report and entered it with the National Crime Information Center.
“The deputy was informed by Gabrielle’s family that they had been informed by Mr. Dickey that Gabrielle had been dropped off at the Spring Creek High School to meet a new friend, who was described as a ‘pretty tall’ white male wearing a cowboy hat,” stated the detective’s report. Calls made by the family to her cellphone on Sunday night went directly to voice mail.
Information about her disappearance was circulated by the Elko County Sheriff’s Office and on social media sites, and an article was posted at elkodaily.com and published in the Elko Daily Free Press. The sheriff’s office set up a tip line.
In subsequent interviews Dickey said he had driven around with Gabrielle for about three and a half hours before taking her to Spring Creek High School. He also provided further details about the green pickup, including that it had two stickers on the left rear window and a toolbox in the bed of the truck.
Dickey showed deputies Snapchat text messages he had sent to Gabrielle asking if she was OK and where she was. They asked if he had ever been in a sexual relationship with her, and he said he had not.
A female body was found at 1:50 p.m. March 11 in Burner Basin, partially clothed and partially covered by a tarp. A condom wrapper was found in the road, along with keys on a lanyard with the name “Britney” on it.
After the body was positively identified as Gabrielle on March 13, Dickey was interviewed at the Elko Police Department and some of his statements contradicted earlier statements made to deputies, according to the detective. Dickey agreed to provide a DNA sample.
During a second search of the crime scene on March 14, a set of earbuds and a used condom were found. DNA on the condom tested positive for Gabrielle and Dickey.
Meanwhile, surveillance video collected for the investigation showed that Gabrielle had walked to Angel Park in Elko where she was picked up at 3:22 p.m. March 8 in what was believed to be Dickey’s pickup, almost two hours later than Dickey had claimed. Other video from near Spring Creek High School also contradicted Dickey’s statements, according to the detective.
During an interview on March 19 at the Elko County Sheriff’s Office, Dickey was confronted with evidence associated with the investigation and reportedly admitted to investigators that he had engaged in sexual contact with Gabrielle with the use of a condom on March 8.
Dickey was arrested and search warrants were served on residences associated with him. Blood was found on a pair of boots and a sweatshirt, the detective reported.
Dickey is being held without bail in Elko County Jail awaiting his first court appearance.
District Attorney Tyler Ingram has reserved the option of seeking the death penalty if Dickey is convicted, which will require the appointment of a special “death-qualified counsel” before his court hearing.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric said Monday it will plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 2018 fire in Northern California that killed 84 people and decimated three towns.
The utility said in a statement it will also admit to a single count of unlawfully starting a fire.
Under a plea agreement with the Butte County District Attorney’s office, PG&E will pay the maximum fine of about $4 million.
The company has also agreed to fund efforts to restore access to water for the next five years for residents impacted by the loss of a canal destroyed by the fire.
“Our equipment started the fire. Those are the facts, and with this plea agreement we accept responsibility for our role in the fire,” PG&E CEO and President Bill Johnson said.
The blaze that destroyed the towns of Paradise, Magalia and Concow was started by sparks from a PG&E transmission line that failed on November 8, 2018, state investigators concluded.
Butte County officials have said 85 people died in the Camp Fire. It wasn’t immediately clear why PG&E pleaded guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter instead of 85.
The utility filed for bankruptcy in 2018 as it faced billions of dollars in claims from people who lost family members, homes and businesses in wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
The utility has been struggling to emerge from one of the most complex bankruptcy cases in U.S. history and a deadline has been set for it to do so by June 30.
The Nov. 8, 2018 was fanned quickly by strong winds, forcing thousands of people to quickly flee as they tried to escape in their cars as flames from the narrow canyon communities. Survivors described caravans of vehicles engulfed by flames.
The dead were found in burned-out cars, in the smoldering ruins of their homes and next to their vehicles, apparently overcome by smoke and flames before they could get inside them.
In some cases, all that remained of the dead were charred fragments of bone so small that investigators used a wire basket to sift and sort them.
Riley S. Bawcom, 26, of Spring Creek was arrested at 492 Rawlings Drive for taking or possessing vehicle without owner’s consent, and on a warrant for two counts of felony child abuse or neglect. Bail: $52,500
March 21Mark B. Wakefield, 35, of Spring Creek was arrested at Lamoille Highway and Powderhouse Road for second-offense driving under the influence; nonsurrender of suspended, revoked or canceled registration card or license; no proof of insurance; headlamps not illuminated when required; vehicle in unsafe condition endangering persons or property. Bail: $3,125
The charges above do not imply guilt. Under the law, everyone is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court.
Investigators with the Elko County Sheriff’s Office arrested Bryce E. Dickey, 18, on Thursday afternoon, the office reported Friday. He will be charged with one count of open murder in the death of Gabrielle (Britney) Lynn Ujlaky.
No bail had been set, according to information released Friday afternoon by the jail.
Investigators were told that Britney was last seen at about 4 p.m. March 8 getting into a green pickup at Spring Creek High School. Her body was found on the afternoon of March 11 in the Burner Basin area between Spring Creek and Elko.
A task force led by the Elko County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest of Dickey. Investigators continue to conduct follow-up in the case, which remains active. At this time, the tip line has been closed.
“The Elko County Sheriff’s Office is grateful for the dedication of the investigators who brought this case to the point an arrest could be made,” stated a release.
It was the first murder case in Elko County since July 2018, when an Elko man was shot to death during a home invasion. Tieres A. Lopez Sr., 24, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Bradley Smith.
There were two homicides in 2019, but no one has been charged in either case.
The fatal shooting of a man by a homeowner in Wells in April was ruled justifiable homicide by District Attorney Tyler Ingram.
Another man was shot and killed in August at Angel Park during a drug deal. The shooter cooperated with police and has not been charged in the death.
ELKO – Residents are being warned about people going door-to-door claiming to offer testing for coronavirus.
Elko County Sheriff Aitor Narvaiza posted the warning on the department’s Facebook page on Friday after learning that people were knocking on doors in Spring Creek, telling them they are required to get tested for coronavirus.
“This is not true,” Narvaiza said. “It’s a scam. Elko County and the City of Elko do not have anyone going door-to-door on this matter.”
Those who are approaching residences are possibly trying to gain information or “scope out your house,” he said.
“Do not give them access to your residence and call 911 if one of these subjects come to your house,’ Narvaiza said.
Residents are asked to get a vehicle description and license plate number and call central dispatch if the suspects are driving a car.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A man upset about not getting tested for the coronavirus threatened to bring a bomb to a Utah hospital earlier this week, according to a probable cause statement.
Brian James Gosh made the threat after he called the hospital Wednesday and was told he couldn’t get tested for COVID-19, authorities allege in the document.
Gosh told the Intermountain Medical Center employee on the phone he would bring a bomb and put it inside the cafeteria or conference room, warning the person to keep their family safe. The hospital is located in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray.
Gosh, 41, was arrested on Wednesday suspicion of threat of terrorism.
He has not been charged and it’s unknown if he has an attorney. He was being held in a county jail on $10,000 bail.
It’s unknown if Gosh had symptoms of the virus or some other reason to believe he was at risk.
Intermountain Medical Center officials didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment about the incident.
Bryce E. Dickey, 18, of Spring Creek was arrested at the Elko County Sheriff’s Office for open murder. No bail
Monique N. Lopez, 40, of Salt Lake City was arrested at Elko County Jail on a warrant for failure to appear after bail on a felony crime and two counts of failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime. Bail: $26,630
Samantha J. Wilson, 21, of Battle Mountain was arrested at 3200 Sundance Drive for driving under the influence. Bail: $1,140
ELKO – Multiple changes to the Elko County justice courts were ordered this week to avoid in-person contact during the coronavirus pandemic.
Among them are ordering the release of anyone arrested for traffic offenses or bench warrants, conducting criminal hearings by telephone or videoconferencing, and suspending traffic court for 60 days.
Under the administrative orders issued by the Elko, Carlin and Eastline justice courts effective March 19, traffic offenders and individuals arrested on a bench warrant will be released on their own recognizance and assigned a court date for a future appearance in justice court.
The order also stipulates defendants arrested outside of Elko County on a misdemeanor or bench warrant will be released from custody and given a date to appear in justice court.
The order is to maintain safety precautions outlined by the Centers for Disease Control to reduce the spread of the new strain of coronavirus. In response, the justice court is switching to telephone or videoconferencing for criminal in-custody hearings. Out-of-custody preliminary hearings and DUI trails will remain on the calendar.
Jury trials for domestic battery in Elko and West Wendover will be rescheduled, and prospective jurors who have been summoned are asked not to appear.
Cases to be conducted at the Elko County Courthouse include preliminary hearings, criminal trials, protection orders and eviction hearings.
Non-essential cases such as general, civil, small claims and eviction actions will be continued and set for a later date, with litigants to be notified via mail or email.
The justice courts advise individuals to make payments by mail, online or calling court staff.
Access to the Elko County Courthouse was limited to employees starting March 19. Departments will schedule appointments for members of the public who need assistance.
Anyone arriving at the court facilities who exhibits signs of illness or distress shall be refused entry by security staff, according to all three orders.
The administrative order was filed two days after the Fourth Judicial Court issued a separate order on March 16 that suspended jury trials for 30 days.
Elko District Court arraignments and sentencings are to be conducted in person, along with bail, probation, civil, juvenile delinquency, protection hearings and probate petitions.
Guardianship cases will be heard, with protected persons appearing through telephone or video conferencing.
Courts statewide are taking similar actions. Federal court trials in Reno and Las Vegas have been continued until April 10.
On Wednesday, the Elko County District Attorney’s office restricted public access, except for subpoenaed witnesses necessary for court proceedings.
The office will handle criminal prosecutions and child support matters by telephone, email, or other electronic communications until further notice.
District Attorney Tyler Ingram noted that while the courts have not suspended operations, the DA’s office is “legally obligated to be available to the courts when the courts deem it necessary.”
“At this point, I do not plan to deviate from our obligations,” Ingram said. “We will continue to attempt to provide the best service that we are able to, and we will continue to monitor the situation and make appropriate adjustments as necessary.”
Crystal L. Gilliland, 41, of Elko was arrested at 398 Hot Springs Road on a warrant for failure to appear after bail on a felony crime.
Sheree A. McClintock, 32, of Reno was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime. Bail: $1,640
Sergio Ulloa, 37, of Elko was arrested at 2073 Ellis Way for assault with a deadly weapon and domestic battery. Bail: $23,140
Joseph G. Yount, 33, of Montello was arrested at State Route 233 and Pilot Valley Road for operating an unregistered vehicle, trailer or semi; stop lamps required; nonresident driving when privilege is suspended, canceled or revoked; and second-offense driving under the influence. Bail: $2,170
Oscar Rosas, 32, of Elko was arrested in the 1000 block of Southside Drive for obtaining another person’s ID for harmful or unlawful purposes, felony possession of a controlled substance, driver disobeying peace officer, false statement to obstruct a public officer, and violation of probation or condition of suspended sentence.
ELKO – Jury trials have been suspended for a month as new district court procedures were enacted Tuesday in response to public safety concerns surrounding coronavirus.
In a joint statement, district judges Al Kacin and Nancy Porter announced that the new procedures are designed to reduce exposure of the public and county employees to the virus.
Essential cases and hearings will be conducted in-person, which includes criminal proceedings such as arraignments, sentencings, bail motions, and probation revocation hearings.
Civil cases, juvenile delinquency matters, abuse and neglect preliminary protective hearings, and probate petitions are also included.
For guardianship matters, only compliance-related hearings will continue; however, protected persons may appear in court through alternative means, such as a phone call or videoconferencing.
Criminal and civil trials have been suspended for the next 30 days and will be rescheduled as the court calendar allows.
Prospective jurors who have been summoned are asked not to appear.
Currently, there are no jury trials taking place in Department 1 or Department 2.
District judges will determine if non-essential cases will be heard by phone or videoconferencing, or if they will be rescheduled.
The administrative order is in effect until April 13. It will be reviewed in 30 days and shall continue until modified or rescinded by a subsequent order.
“We appreciate the patience and understanding of those people who need to have their legal issues resolved as we all try to weather this pandemic,” said Kacin and Porter.
The Nevada Supreme Court asked district courts statewide to file similar orders, “ensuring the quality and continuity of court services, supervising the court calendar, reassigning cases as a convenience or necessity requires, assuring the court’s duties are timely and orderly performed and otherwise facilitating the business of the district court.”
Justice and municipal courts throughout Elko County could issue a similar order by the end of the week, according to Justice Court Administrator Randall Soderquist.
The courts are already working with attorneys and litigants to conduct hearings by telephone, he said.
In the interest of public health during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, Nevada Highway Patrol business offices will be closed effective immediately. Please use nhp.nv.gov for requests involving crashes, citations and public records or call your regional office for assistance:
Northern Command East (Elko) (775) 753-1111
Northern Command West (Reno) (775) 687-9600
Southern Command (Las Vegas) (702) 486-4100
NHP is also suspending ride-alongs, public events and school appearances.
“We remain committed to public safety while practicing social distancing skills and taking additional precautions to limit exposure. Thank you for your patience during this time.”
ELKO – Monday was a busy day for county officials as emergency plans were put in place to deal with the threat of coronavirus, but it was a slow day at the jail.
No one was booked into the county jail between 7 a.m. Monday and 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Elko County Sheriff’s Office.
The jail handles arrests from several law enforcement agencies, including the sheriff’s office and Elko Police Department, Wendover Police Department, Nevada Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
There have been 43 bookings over the past week, for an average of about six per day.
ELKO – A preliminary hearing is scheduled Friday for a West Wendover man who was shot in the leg while allegedly attempting to stab his mother with two kitchen knives.
West Wendover police were called to a residence on Pinion Place at about 10:30 p.m. March 1 on a report of a shooting. According to a police statement, a man claimed he shot Carlos Anthony Lara in the leg. Lara was taken to a hospital in Utah for treatment.
The man who shot Lara told police that he had earlier found out that Lara had a gun and he took it away from him and hid it. He said a possible motive for attacking his mother was that Lara was trying to get the gun back.
The man told police he saw Lara enter the room holding two kitchen knives and jump on his mother. The man then grabbed the gun he had earlier taken from Lara, loaded it and pointed it at Lara and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t leave.
Two juveniles were in the room at the time, according to the police report.
In a complaint filed March 3, Lara was charges with attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon, or in the alternative, assault with a deadly weapon.
ELKO – A body found Wednesday between Elko and Spring Creek has been identified as a 16-year-old girl who went missing on March 8, and her death is being investigated as a homicide.
The Elko County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that Gabrielle (Britney) Lynn Ujlaky of Spring Creek was positively identified by the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“While investigators have been working around the clock following up on leads and tips, a suspect has not been identified,” stated the sheriff’s office. “Currently, there has been no information to indicate danger to the public.”
Ujlaky was last week seen at approximately 4 p.m. March 8 getting into a green Ford F-150 pickup, according to a notice posted March 9 on the sheriff’s website.
The sheriff’s office asked the public to contact them with any information on her whereabouts.
Britney’s body was found at 1:48 p.m. on March 11 in the Burner Basin area near Spring Creek.
“Out of respect for the family, the Elko County Sheriff’s Office requests that citizens refrain from posting rumors and tips on social media sites,” the sheriff’s office stated Monday.
Anyone who can provide tips is asked to call the sheriff’s tip line at 775-738-7002. The line will be answered between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily until further notice. Outside of those hours, callers are asked to leave a voicemail.
“It is important the public understands investigators are working their way through a voluminous quantity of tips and information, which takes time,” the sheriff’s office stated.