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Suspect Arrested in Killing of Chinese Student

Austin Boutain

Authorities charged and arrested a suspect Tuesday following a fatal carjacking of a Chinese student at the University of Utah.

Chen Wei Guo, 23, an international student from China, was found dead in his car near the University of Utah campus at Red Butte Canyon late Monday evening.

After a massive manhunt on foot and by helicopter, police arrested Austin Boutain, 24, of Mississippi, at the Salt Lake City Public Library after a librarian recognized the suspect and alerted security, said University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy on Tuesday.

Chinese Student Chen Wei Guo
Chinese Student Chen Wei Guo

Guo, a first-year student at the University of Utah, came to the United States in 2012 with dreams of opening an accounting firm, and was studying pre-computer science at the University of Utah, according to the Associated Press.

He described by his peers as, "extraordinarily outgoing, creative, smart and extremely engaged."

“To think this deadly murder took place right here and the life of a bright innocent young student was taken, give us chills,” said Debbie Alvarez, a community member, on Facebook.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Wednesday the United States and the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. are providing assistance to the victim’s family.

Boutain is also suspected of the death of a 63-year-old man in Colorado last week according to police. His wife, Kathleen Boutain told police she was assaulted by her husband while camping at the canyon. She sustained minor injuries.She is also being held on unrelated charges involving theft and drugs, according to police.

The University of Utah canceled classes on Tuesday out of respect for Chen Wei Guo, while holding counseling services for students and faculty.

“To honor him and recognize the impact this violent event has had on our campus community, the flags of the University of Utah will be flown at half-staff through Friday, Nov. 3, until sunset,” said University of Utah President David W. Pershing in a statement.

Several people and organizations expressed their condolences to the student and his family via social media.

“So sad to hear about the Chinese student Chen Wei Guo who was killed at the University of Utah, a victim of senseless violence ... will be praying for him and his family,” wrote Jared Ong on Facebook.

“My heart hurts...and is full. My daughter was scared but safe. Thank you to law enforcement. You rocked. Love to ChenWei Guo. #UofUShooting,” said Jennifer Christensen on Twitter.

Tuesday evening the University of Utah held a gathering in recognition of Guo as well as safety on campus for members of the school community.

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