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Alert librarian's tip led to arrest of fugitive in Utah student's killing

SALT LAKE CITY -- A suspect who sparked a massive manhunt after allegedly killing a University of Utah student during a carjacking attempt late Monday was arrested with the help of an alert librarian's tip, police said.

Suspect Austin Boutain, 24, had been wanted in the slaying of Chinese computer-science student ChenWei Guo. While on the run, he was also linked to a killing in Colorado. 

University of Utah police Chief Dale Brophy said a librarian at a Salt Lake City library saw a person in the building that matched Boutain's description Tuesday afternoon and alerted the building's security, who confronted and detained him, reports CBS affiliate KUTV.

It turned out to be Boutain. Police were called and took him into custody.  

Austin Boutain Salt Lake City police

"In the communities we serve, there is not a better partner than the citizens of Salt Lake City," Salt Lake City Police Department Chief Mike Brown said Tuesday. "Yes, a big shout out to the librarians today. Because a librarian was paying attention to what was being put out and recognized Austin, and called security."  

The library was several miles from Red Butte Canyon, a rugged area near campus where Guo was found with his car.  

Boutain also shot at a friend of Guo, police said. Boutain allegedly told police he shot Guo and then fired two rounds at the woman as she ran away so there would be no witnesses, according to newly released jail booking documents.

The woman, a fellow student, wasn't hurt but was so traumatized by the shooting that she has struggled to tell police what happened, said Brophy. Her name has not been released.

Boutain was booked Tuesday into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, robbery and other charges as police traced the cross-country movements of the longtime criminal who was recently paroled from an Alabama prison. No attorney has been listed for him.

The booking records say Boutain told police he recently stole three guns from a home in Colorado. He said he hid a .44-caliber Ruger handgun used to shoot Guo in a crevice of a brick wall near the Salt Lake City homeless shelter, but when he returned it was gone.

He traded a second gun, a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson, for an ounce of marijuana, the jail documents state. The third, a rifle, was found by police at a makeshift camp were he'd been living near the university.

Police would not immediately say whether the weapons were taken from the home of Mitchell Ingle, a 63-year-old Golden, Colorado, man who was found dead Tuesday in his trailer.

Boutain and his wife were wanted for questioning in his death. Police have said they took Ingle's pickup truck. Golden police said they believed Ingle had been dead for several days and that guns and knives were possibly missing from his mobile home.

Boutain has a rap sheet that includes drug, car theft and weapons charges in Minnesota and Alabama dating back to his days as a juvenile.

He was paroled in May after serving a year and a half in an Alabama prison for being a convicted sex offender and failing to report his whereabouts to police.

His parole was transferred this spring to Wisconsin, where he has family, but he skipped and a warrant for his arrest was issued Aug. 31, about a week after he last checked in with his parole agent, according to authorities.

Police say Guo, a devout Mormon from Beijing, was in the area popular with hikers with his friend when they encountered Boutain, who'd been staying in the makeshift camp with his wife in the canyon.

Kathleen Boutain went to campus Monday to report an assault by her husband. She was taken into custody on unrelated drug and theft charges.

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