Family says unfounded murder accusation hurt Utt

Family says unfounded murder accusation hurt Utt

SANDPOINT, Idaho – After Bonner County detectives interviewed Nathan Utt on Wednesday, they realized that his alibi check out. Prosecutors then came to the courthouse to drop the charges, but his family said that the damage has already been done.

“And nobody else knows nothing about poor little Nathan. Because it just stops,” Nathan’s aunt, Judith Landis said.

After 78-year-old Shirley Ramey was found dead in her Bonner County home Wednesday, April 5th and the Sheriff’s office labeled Utt as the suspect. Eyewitnesses placed him in the area and footprints were found going from the victim’s home to Utt’s camper around a quarter of a mile away.

As it turns out, Utt was at a medical facility in Oregon at the time of the murder.

“This stuff has been very emotional on the family,” Landis said.

While authorities said they had good information to believe Utt was responsible, his aunt thinks other factors such as his lifestyle and schizophrenia may have played a role.

“He was just a target,” Landis said, “but he’s never harmed anybody.”

On top of that, Landis claims someone in the area shot up Utt’s camper, possibly in retaliation. The Sheriff’s Office could not comment on that, but they did confirm that Utt’s camper is currently in evidence.

“Now he doesn’t have a home to go to. This was his home. He did nothing except he has schizophrenia,” Landis said.

The Sheriff’s Office tells said they do feel for Utt and that the situation is unfortunate, but his camper still needs to be processed for evidence. Utt’s aunt said the whole ordeal cause Utt’s mom to have a panic attack and it is not clear if, or when things will get back to normal.

“He’s a good kid. He’s a schizophrenic. That’s it,” Landis said, “and the end result is, he doesn’t have a home to go to.”

Utt politely declined to be interviewed on Wednesday, but said "I didn't do it" to a KREM 2 reporter. 

The Sheriff’s Office said they do not have any clear suspects in the case.

Authorities are asking people in the area to be vigilant and to contact dispatch at 208-265-5525 with any information about the case. Anonymous tips can be left at 208-255-COPS.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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