Provo man jailed after attempt to kidnap 1-year-old girl, police say

File photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

PROVO, Utah, April 7, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A Provo man is facing a child kidnapping charge after he allegedly attempted to grab a one-year-old girl from inside a parked car.

According to court records, the suspect, Emilio Lopez Bernal, 51, has been jailed on a second-degree felony charge and is being held without bail in the Utah County lock up.

A statement by an officer of the Provo City Police Department,  said the child was in the car with family members while they waited for her mother to join them on an errand run.

“While they were sitting in the car, Emilio reportedly approached and opened the back passenger door” and reached toward her saying “‘give me the baby’ in Spanish,” Bernal’s probable cause statement says.

The grandmother “began telling Emilio to get away from the car while Emilio was shouting for them to give him the child. At this point, Emilio had leaned into the car and was reaching for the child. (The baby’s aunt), who was sitting next to the victim, grabbed her into her arms, exited the vehicle through the opposite door, and ran into the home. Emilio began yelling to call the police and (the victim’s grandmother) “told him she already was, and to get away.

“After a few moments, Emilio closed the car door and retreated near some rose bushes on the other side of the yard and stood there,” the affidavit says.

An officer arrived and asked Bernal to approach, then arrested him after learning he had active warrants, the statement says.

Post Miranda, Bernal told officers he thought the car belonged to his cousin when he opened the door.

“Emilio kept changing his story on how he knew the occupants of the car and who they were, and kept claiming they were family, although no one in the home knew him other than seeing him in passing from the short amount of time he has lived there,” the officer’s statement says.

“Emilio told me that he thought the baby’s name was something entirely different than what it was, and was naming the people in the car names that were not correct.”

The officer noted that throughout the interview, Bernal spoke to himself is Spanish, and during booking, “acted like he was talking to someone sitting next to him when no one was there. He appears to be possibly suffering from some sort of mental illness or drug induced issue.”


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