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PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Provo Police are looking for the man allegedly responsible for making methamphetamine in a BYU contracted apartment complex.

‘How can you really know who you are living with?’ Provo Police are looking for the man

It is a bothersome question four college kids grappled with, until developing a strategy to find out.

“I didn’t really know what to expect…” said Brigham Young University student Nicholas Zarate. “It was a big shock—big surprise,” he said.

Zarate and his friends say they needed to investigate, after a roommate’s bedroom caught on fire.

“We went in there, and we checked the place out, and there was a lot of—just some weird things—some empty alcohol containers and some weird chemicals, and we weren’t really sure what had happened,” Zarate recalled.

The college students live at The Riviera apartment complex in Provo. They say their suspicious roommate is part of the Independent Study program at BYU and always seemed fairly normal.

“I didn’t really know him too well. He kind of kept to himself—king of locked his door—was in his room most of the time,” Zarate said.

After doing some research, the students realized they needed to stop whatever was going on inside that room. They reported the fire to The Riviera management team, who then notified Provo police.

“When the police got out there, they found what appeared to be a meth lab…” said Lt. Brandon Post, with the Provo Police Dept. “Since the DEA is the only agency in this region that’s certified to clean up these labs, we contacted them…” he said.

The Drug Enforcement Administration quickly quarantined the apartment. Tenants left quickly, abandoning their clothes, furniture, and even dirty dishes. Now, they say they have had enough.

“We called the police officers, and they let us just come in and clear all of our stuff out, because they moved us to a new apartment, and so right now, we’re just vacating and moving all of our stuff over,” Zarate said, Saturday evening.

The students say moving will take a few days, and while they admit there is ‘no place’ like their previous home, they say they are glad to move on.

The suspect left the apartment complex right after extinguishing the fire. The man’s roommates say he has yet to come back, and police are still looking for him.

Police say if there is probable cause, they could potentially charge the suspect with ‘manufacture of methamphetamine,’ which is a felony charge.





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