A white supremacist double murder suspect’s tattoos may hold the key to proving he slit the throats and dumped his victims’ bodies down a mine shaft.
Investigator’s have issued a warrant for updated photograph’s of Jerrod Baum’s inkings, believing pictures of headstones with initials on are documents of his murders.
Baum, 41, allegedly murdered Riley Powell, 18, and his girlfriend Brelynne ‘Breezy’ Otteson, 17, in December 2017.
The Utah County Attorney Bureau of Investigations has now served a search warrant to collect updated photographs of all of Baum’s tattoos.
Investigator’s have issued a warrant for updated photograph’s of Jerrod Baum’s (pictured in the 4th District Court Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Provo, Utah) tattoos, believing pictures of headstones with initials on are documents of his murders
Baum, 41, allegedly killed Riley Powell, 18, and his girlfriend Brelynne ‘Breezy’ Otteson, 17, (pictured) in December 2017
An investigator wrote in the warrant: ‘Just as Baum’s iron cross may have documented bravery in battle for his involvement in any number of acts, he may have documented his killing of Riley and Brelynne by way of tattoos as well.
‘My training and experience and consultation with experts leads me to believe that there is a reasonable probability that he has done so.
‘There is a strong likelihood Mr Baum may have recorded the deaths of Riley Powell and Brelynne Otteson in the form of another tattoo,’ reported DeseretNews.
Baum is accused of killing the young couple and throwing their bound bodies into the Tintic Standard Mine outside Eureka, Juab County.
Defense attorney Mike Brown and Utah County Attorney David Leavitt both declined to comment on Thursday.
Baum, who is charged with two counts of capital murder and will face the death penalty if convicted, is known to have more than two dozen tattoos.
Investigators became interested in his body art after listening to interviews with Baum’s ex-girlfriend Morgan Henderson, who was allegedly present at the killings.
She referred to a swastika tattooed on Baum’s face and spoke about his tattoos as ‘records’, referring specifically to ‘headstones’ on his body symbolising people he had killed.
Henderson said she witnessed Baum first kill Powell, repeatedly stabbing him, before he slit Otteson’s throat and dumped both of their bodies in the shaft
In addition to the ‘headstones and lettering’ on Baum’s arm and swastika on his face, his known tattoos include runes on his back stretching from his left shoulder to his right shoulder.
There is also an ‘unknown demon’ in the center of his back, a Viking or Nordic scene with an iron cross on the lower left side of his back and a swastika in the center of his chest.
Henderson said Baum practiced Odinism, a religion worshipping Norse gods, and would perform rituals on her drawing runes and symbols on her with her own blood.
She said he told her he would perform the ritual again with someone else’s blood if she left him, the warrant states.
Powell and Otteson’s bodies were discovered 100-feet down abandoned mine shaft known as Tintic Standard No 2 (pictured), near Eureka
Investigators believe the ritual was performed to control Henderson through propaganda, fear and violence.
Speaking in court in March last year, Henderson claimed the killings occurred after Baum told her she ‘couldn’t have guy friends’ at their home in Mammoth, Utah.
She said Baum found them smoking marijuana and later tied up Mr Powell and his girlfriend Miss Otteson in the back of their Jeep.
Baum drove them all to the mineshaft where he made the couple kneel in an execution position, she said.
Morgan Henderson, 35, took the stand on Wednesday (pictured) to testify against Baum, her ex-boyfriend. Henderson said she watched Baum kill the two teenagers
She said he stabbed Mr Powell to death before slitting Miss Otteson’s throat and hiding the weapon.
Fearing that Baum would hurt her son if she confessed, Henderson said she decided to get high on psychedelic mushrooms and kill herself in the mountains.
Several months later, authorities stopped her for speeding on the way and discovered an axe, a rifle, and knives in her car.
She confessed and led police to the teen’s bodies and Baum was arrested hours later.
It would be months before Henderson told police what happened. She first concocted a plan to kill herself because she was consumed by guilt over what she had witnessed, she said
He was charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, desecration of a dead human body, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.
Henderson was also charged with felony obstruction of justice and testified against Baum as part of her plea deal.
She will be released from jail after Baum’s case is resolved.
Baum has a hearing next week to argue the latest in a series of numerous motions filed in the case.