A teenager from Utah has been charged with aggravated murder for allegedly stabbing his friend 26 times.
Ivan Nickolas Vetecnik, 15, was found dead on May 26. His body had been cut up and had been placed into several garbage bags which were subsequently tossed into a field.
Rowdy Lee Aguilar, 17, now faces charges for aggravated murder, obstruction of justice, and desecration of a human body for the killing.
Rowdy Lee Aguilar, 17, has been charged with stabbing his friend Ivan Nickolas Vetecnik, 15, pictured, 26 times and then leaving a bag full of his body parts in a field
Crime scene investigation tape can be seen around the home in Taylorsville, Utah
The death of Vetecnik came as shock to everyone who knew the pair who were said to be best friends, having grown up together.
Police were called after Vetecnik’s body was found in a field.
Aguilar’s home was searched soon afterwards. Investigators noted there was a strong smell of disinfectant in the cargo trailer he owns.
As the search continued, more circumstantial evidence was gathered including a bloody t-shirt and a knife that looked as though it might have been used in the killing and ultimately a dismembered body along with cleaning supplies inside.
The family of Vetecnik, who lost his own parents two years ago, are said to be shocked
Vetecnik’s body was found to have 26 stab wounds including in the head with one wound penetrating his skull. The fatal blow was to his neck with Vetecnik’s violent death was ruled as homicide.
Initially, upon questioning, Aguilar denied all knowledge including having anything the victim, but he soon admitted responsibility after being confronted with the evidence, including wounds on his own hands and blood on his clothes.
During an interview with detectives, Aguilar allegedly told investigators that that he had been at his girlfriend’s house all day. The wounds on his hands, he claimed, were from preparing ribs for a barbecue.
The body of Ivan Nickolas Vetecnik, 15, was found in black and white garbage bags in a field behind the home of Rowdy Aguila, 17
Court documents seen by KSL don’t reveal any motive for the killing but state how surveillance footage saw the boys heading into Aguilar’s home that morning.
By the afternoon, Aguilar came out wearing a bloody T-shirt and was recorded making two trip to a field behind his house, first with a black trash bad then with a white one.
Police also found video footage that shows the pair together on the day of the murder.
Surveillance footage also sees Aguilar allegedly carrying items from his home in garbage bags that appear similar to those later found in the field.
After being confronted by police, Aguila told investigators ‘I did it’.
Police noted the 17-year-old ‘has little criminal history, but seemingly out of nowhere, Aguilar brutally killed and dismembered his 15-year-old friend,’ according to charging documents.
Vetecnik’s aunt told KUTV that the family were in shock at learning who the suspect was.
Vetecnik had lost his parents just two years before his own death making his aunt his legal guardian. He had lost his mother to cancer in 2019 and his father to a fatal heart attack in December 2020.
Ivan ‘Nick’ Nickolas Vetecnik as a young child. (Photo shared by Ingham family)
‘Anytime they were together they were laughing, they were having fun, they would bump knuckles as they would walk away from each other,’ said Vetecnik’s aunt, Kerri Ingham to KUTV who described her nephew as a ‘gentle giant’.
‘The fact this has happened just leaves us with a huge question of why?’
‘He was the most loving boy. He was a beautiful child. Biggest heart of anybody I know. He was a great kid.
‘This whole thing is out of left field. We never expected this to happen. The character of the other person is the same way. I never, never in a million years thought this would happen,’ Ingham said. ‘We knew he was a troubled teen, but his personality, you could tell he was still a good kid.’
A GoFundMe account was started for the victim’s family which has raised almost $14,000.