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Homicide suspect Michael Asman still at large Friday

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Heber City Police Department
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Police have asked for help finding 35-year-old Michael Grant Asman, a suspect in a Heber City homicide Thursday

A Heber City man suspected of killing his girlfriend remains on the loose, after a multi-state manhunt began Thursday. 

Law enforcement officials in Wasatch County say Michael Grant Asman, 35, is considered armed and dangerous.

A search began Thursday morning after Heber City Police found 36-year-old Julie Burns dead in her home on 500 East in central Heber City, where she had been shot. Police say they’re awaiting autopsy results to declare the time of her death.

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Heber City Police
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Surveillance footage sent to KPCW by the Heber City Police Department show homicide suspect Michael Asman at the Maverik gas station in Heber City around 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

An affidavit for Asman’s arrest warrant states Burns’ and Asman's children were at the house Wednesday night. One child told a detective they had seen Asman with a handgun and later heard the two arguing, and eventually, a gunshot.

The child said Asman brought the children outside of the house, telling them to keep their eyes closed.

The children went into state custody Friday.

On Wednesday, Asman’s sister called Heber City Police. Asman had asked her to pick up the kids. She told police he was “acting weird” and possibly suicidal. Officers went to the home Wednesday night but left when no one responded.

After Burns’ coworker reported she didn’t show up for work Thursday morning, officers returned to the home. They entered the house around 10:30 a.m. and found Burns’ body with an apparent gunshot wound to her head, as well as a shell casing.

Early Thursday afternoon, law enforcement issued a joint warning that Asman was at large and likely armed, and advised the public not to approach him. It said he could be driving a white 2005 Chevrolet pickup truck with license plate T287M.

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Credit Heber City Police Department
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According to the Heber City Police Department, a suspect in a homicide in Heber City Thursday who is on the loose may be driving a white 2005 Chevrolet pickup truck with license plate T287M.

A search is ongoing. It includes Heber City Police, the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter, U.S. Marshal’s Office, Attorney General’s officers, and officers with the Division of Wildlife Resources.

A police spokesperson told KPCW the search lasted into early Friday morning around 2 a.m.

Surveillance footage at a gas station in Heber City shows Asman was at the Maverik around 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning, hours before Burns was found dead.

He bought energy drinks, which police said could mean he planned to take a long drive. A police release Friday afternoon also said he has a history of camping in the mountains, and the public should be careful if they plan to go camping or spend time in the local wilderness area.

Court records show Asman was arrested in Wasatch County last month on June 11. 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 a probable cause statement, he 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 had a concussion and needed three stitches, and doctors worried brain bleeding was possible.

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

After that statement was filed, 4th District Judge Jennifer Brown set Asman’s bail at $5,000, and he was released a week later after paying it. He was ordered to wear an ankle monitor. According to the affidavit from Wednesday of this week, the ankle monitor company received a notification that the monitor was removed.

A protective order forbade Asman from having a gun after his release.

Anyone who may have seen Asman or the white Chevrolet is asked to call the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office at 435-654-1411.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.
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