A 17-year-old Spokane girl who had been working as a prostitute in Salt Lake City was bludgeoned to death near Midway, Utah, authorities said.
Lawmen are looking at a possible link between the slaying of Krystal Lynn Beslanowitch and the death of another prostitute near Salt Lake last month.
Her body was found Saturday by two ranchers along an isolated county road two miles north of Midway. Her skull and face had been crushed by repeated blows from a large rock, said Wasatch County Sheriff Mike Spanos.
She disappeared about 2 a.m. Friday after telling her boyfriend she was going to a convenience store on west North Temple in Salt Lake. She was a prostitute who worked west North Temple, an area often frequented by hookers.
“She’d been with a guy earlier that night and said she was going to get something to eat,” Spanos said. When she failed to return, the boyfriend called police and filed a missing persons report.
The girl had a history of run-ins with the law in Spokane County.
In the last four years, she was charged with auto theft, prostitution, assault and drug violations.
Jeff Beslanowitch of Spokane said Monday that Krystal Beslanowitch was the daughter of his ex-wife, but is no blood relation to him.
He said the girl had been a prostitute since she was 12, had used crack cocaine and given birth to a child. The baby was taken away from her, Jeff Beslanowitch said.
“I feel so sorry for Krystal,” he said. “She never had a chance in hell.”
Krystal Beslanowitch and her boyfriend, who also is from Spokane, had been in Utah since July. The boyfriend, who Spanos declined to identify, was apparently concerned because another prostitute who worked west North Temple was slain in a car Nov. 23 on Salt Lake’s west side.
Salt Lake homicide Sgt. Sam Hem ingway said the partially nude body of 33-year-old Melissa Griggs was found in a car Nov. 23. She was killed, but Hemingway said detectives were not releasing the cause of death.
Hemingway did say that Griggs was not beaten. Spanos said Beslanowitch was struck “eight or nine times” with a heavy rock, crushing her skull.
No clothes were found in the area. An autopsy showed she was likely killed between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday - more than 14 hours after she left her boyfriend.