Investigation Discovery’s “In Pursuit With John Walsh: A Father’s Betrayal” narrates Trisha Beristain’s tragic murder in Salt Lake County (UT) in November 1998. After seeing the news on TV, her father identified her body. Her killer fled the scene and is still at large due to negligence by the investigators assigned. Do you want to learn more about the case or the identity of the killer? Here’s what we know.
How Did Trisha Beristain Die?
Trisha Marie Beristain, the daughter of Fred Beristain and Joyce Elaine Lambros Hammer, was born in Murray, Utah, on February 1, 1979. She was friendly, free-spirited, and loved poetry and music. Her sister Laura Torres said she was “my best friend.” It was therefore shocking that she was murdered on November 18, 1998. Trisha had been out with her boyfriend on the night of her murder and promised to have breakfast the next morning with her father.
He was talking to his other daughter on the phone when he heard about the discovery of a body in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Fred called the coroner immediately after hearing the description and confirmed that it was Trisha, her daughter, aged 19. Trisha had been executed-style with a handgun.9mm caliber by police officers. The body was found at 4350 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Trisha Beristain was killed.
Trisha’s sister immediately informed the police that Trisha was with Jesse Vega on the night of her death. The victim’s family stated that the police didn’t check on the lead until the next morning, giving Jesse enough time to flee the scene. Jesse had fled the scene when police arrived to question him. Detectives began investigating Jesse and discovered that he was not really Jesse but a fictitious name.
Investigators arrested Diego Cruz Silva in June 1999, one of Arturo’s accomplices in the Trisha murder. According to police reports, a witness reported to Salt Lake County authorities that he had given his truck to Diego and Arturo, and the two had gone with Trisha. Diego was charged with obstruction of justice and a second-degree felony concerning the murder.
Arturo confessed that he was with the couple at the time of the murder and claimed to have been a witness to it. Diego claims that Arturo was jealous that Trisha had another male friend, even though they claimed to have a platonic relationship. Arturo, mad by jealousy and in a fit of anger, allegedly drove Trisha to Big Cottonwood Canyon and shot and dumped Trisha’s body there with Diego. The confession provided enough evidence for detectives to indict Arturo for Trisha’s death, but he fled Utah.
Arturo Munguia is still alive today.
Arturo Munguia was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. A warrant for $500,000 was issued. He was also featured on America’s Most Wanted, but police have not been capable of finding him. Trisha’s family has no abandoned home and hosts a celebration near Big Cottonwood Canyon each year to commemorate Trisha. This annual gathering attracts a large crowd, with relatives and friends marching in the streets with candles to pay tribute.
According to police reports, Arturo was last seen near Illinois two years ago. Investigators believe that he is connected to Chicago gangs who help him stay underground. Detectives remain hopeful of finding him. One of the investigators stated that Arturo may have spoken to someone, possibly giving information we didn’t have previously.