TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – The family of Edgar Frayre-Rodriguez is having a hard time wondering why anyone would vandalize a tiny memorial near the area where he was killed not once, but multiple times.
It’s unbelievable, you know what I mean? It’s just like he never did anything to anybody, I don’t know if it’s the cross, if it’s because we’re Mexican, I don’t know why they would do that,” says Erika Frayre, Edgar’s sister.
Edgar was killed two months ago in a hit and run accident in Taylorsville shortly before Thanksgiving. The day before his death he had purchased his dream motorcycle, a picture posted to his Facebook of him posing next to his bike with a caption that read, “FINALLY- feeling blessed.” The day of his death he was leaving a Chevron gas station with a group of other bikers when he took a wide turn and collided head on with a Jeep near 4000 W, 4700 S. While he was wearing a helmet, he did not survive the collision.
The next day his family set up the memorial at intersection near a Wells Fargo. Since then it’s been vandalized multiple times.
“This is gonna be our fifth time, in a span of two months,” says his sister of Erika, speaking about how many times they’ve repaired the memorial.
The first couple of times the family placed a wooden cross, covered with flowers, Edgar’s photo, and a few candles at the site. On multiple occasions the cross has been smashed, and broken in half. To prevent future abuse the family says they poured some cement and placed a cross there, but the memorial was burned. The family says usually the memorial will be vandalized within two days of them repairing it and they just want it to stop.
“Why don’t they just let him rest? I just want to know why?” says Frayre.
Today when we visited the memorial tire tracks lead up to it. The family had set up new flowers and a cross at the site yesterday and by this morning, it appeared to have been run over.
The family says they filed a police report after the memorial was burned. They say Unified Police have been very supportive. She says UPD has told her what is being done is considered assault – a felony – and the person responsible could be charged.
Erika also says the UPD officer she spoke to told her it could even go as far as being considered a hate crime.
Lt. Lex Bell with Unified Police says, he wouldn’t go as far to say it is a hate crime – at least not yet. He says several factors would have to be looked at. The investigation would have to dig deeper. He says if it’s the same person vandalizing the memorial, then they could look into that possibility. None the less, he says the person can be charged with vandalism and even face possible impersonating an officer charges for a note that was left at the scene.
“They left a note saying, this isn’t a cemetery West Valley City Police and then they put officer and they signed it,” said Erika.
“The way that the shrine was damaged was obviously appalling and something that law enforcement wouldn’t be a party to, nor would Taylorsville City nor West Valley City,” said Lt. Bell.
Unified Police says while there are city ordinances regarding what kind of signs can be placed in the city, Taylorsvile is aware of the memorial, but has not received any complaints. Police say they have also spoken to the Wells Fargo where the memorial is placed who said they weren’t aware it was there, but that they hadn’t received any complaints either.