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Police warn that murder suspect, still at large, could be camping in wilderness

Asman Maverick1.jpg
Video surveillance footage shows Michael Grant Asman entering the Maverick store early Thursday morning.

Heber City police warn campers to be on the lookout for murder suspect Michael Grant Asman.  They say wilderness is a likely place for him to hide, as a nationwide search for him is underway.

Asman is suspected of killing his girlfriend, Julie Ann Burns, who was found dead Thursday morning at her home in Heber City.

Heber City Police spokesman Phil Kirk says Asman has a history of camping in the mountains He encourages the public to be cautious and alert if they have plans to go to a campsite, trailhead, or use a camper or cabin in the wilderness.

Asman is 5’ 6”, weighs 195 pounds, and has blonde hair and blue eyes. He was last seen leaving a Maverik gas station in Heber City around 1:30am Thursday. Police say he purchased some caffeine energy drinks, so they suspect he may have been preparing for a long drive away from Heber City. He might be driving a white Chevrolet pickup truck.

Police urge the public to call law enforcement if they see Asman, or have any information about his whereabouts. They say citizens should avoid confronting Asman, who is considered armed and dangerous.

According to police documents, Burns’ and Asman’s children, who are aged six and 10, were at Burns’ house Wednesday night. One child told a detective Asman had a gun, and he was arguing with Burns. There was a gunshot, then Asman told the children to close their eyes while he led them out of the house. Police said the children are now in protective custody.

Court records show Asman was arrested in Wasatch County last month. He was charged with five counts of domestic violence, including 3rd degree felony aggravated assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child.

Burns was the victim at that time, too. According to court records, Asman punched her in the face and dragged her while she was hanging onto a moving car, trying to get her kids out of it. She suffered a concussion and needed three stitches.

The court statement says Burns told investigators Asman said he would kill her, either by beating her to death or with a gun. Because of that threat, the statement says Asman would be a danger to her or the community and a flight risk, and recommends he be held without bail.

4th District Judge Jennifer Brown set Asman’s bail at $5,000. He was released a week later by posting bail.

A protective order said Asman could not have a gun after his release.

He was also ordered to wear an ankle monitor. On Wednesday, the ankle monitor company received a notification that the monitor was removed.

Renai Bodley Miller became General Manager of KPCW in June, 2017. Previously, she was a reporter at KPCW. Renai is a 25 year veteran of the television news business. She was a news producer in Roanoke, VA, Richmond, VA, Miami, FL, and Washington, DC before moving to Utah in 1996 to be the Executive Producer at KSTU Fox 13. In 1999, she was promoted to Vice President/News Director. Under Renai’s tenure, Fox 13 expanded its news coverage from 2.5 hours to 10 hours of news a day. She retired in July, 2015, to enjoy her new home in Park City; but she couldn’t stay out of a newsroom for long. Less than a month later she signed on with KPCW as a reporter, and less than two years later she was promoted to General Manager when Larry Warren retired.