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Evidence chain is outlined in Hser Ner Moo murder case

Published November 14, 2012 5:04 pm

A preliminary hearing for Esar Met is set to conclude Thursday.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Blood samples. Tennis shoes. A denim jacket.

On Wednesday, police and forensic specialists outlined the physical evidence in the case against a Burmese refugee charged with the murder of a young refugee girl more than four years ago.

Esar Met, 25, sat quietly and listened as witnesses established a chain of custody for each of the dozens of pieces of evidence prosecutors say point to him as the man who killed 7-year-old Hser Ner Moo in March 2008. The preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to move forward to trial is slated to finish Thursday in 3rd District Court.

Among the evidence prosecutors have presented is the denim jacket Met was wearing when he was arrested at a relative's home on the night of April 1, 2008. The jacket had multiple stains on it, and at least one stain was the child's blood, an expert testified.

Met is charged with first-degree felony counts of aggravated murder and child kidnapping in connection with the girl's slaying.

According to prosecutors, Met beat, raped and strangled Hser Ner Moo in his apartment at the South Parc Townhomes, 2250 S. 500 East.

On Tuesday, Utah Chief Medical Examiner Todd Grey testified Hser Ner Moo died from blunt force trauma to her head, neck and torso.

"The injuries I found were extensive," Grey said, adding that "all of the damage played a role" in the girl's death.

The girl, a Burmese refugee who also lived in the apartment complex, disappeared March 31, prompting hundreds of volunteers to search for the missing child before police found her bodyin Met's apartment the next night.

The girl was face down in Met's shower, still in the pink shirt, pink skirt and pink coat she was wearing the day before. Police have said the girl was likely dead within an hour of leaving her family's nearby apartment.

Last week, Judge William Barrett heard from Hser Ner Moo's parents, who testified about events leading up to the disappearance of their daughter.

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @aaronfalk