UTAH COUNTY, April 26, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A Utah County Sheriff’s lieutenant who saw a car parked badly with its lights on behind a closed business Tuesday brought an end to what officials say was a child kidnapping.
The officer was driving north on Main Street in Spanish Fork at 5:12 a.m. when he saw the car, with “lights on and was parked askew to any parking stall,” a statement from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office says.
“So the lieutenant turned around to check on the car and any occupants. As he drove south, he saw that car now driving north, traveling 60 mph in a 40 mph zone. The lieutenant then initiated a traffic stop and the driver pulled to the side of the road near the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds.”
The male driver said he was 16, despite being 17, and gave a relative’s name as his own. The male encouraged the girl to say she was she was 14 when she was actually 12, said Sgt. Spencer Cannon, Utah County Sheriff’s Office, told Gephardt Daily.
“Investigators also learned the two met through social media and have interacted there for the past couple of months,” the statement says. “The boy somehow learned where this girl lived and showed up at her home sometime before 5 a.m. this morning, taking her with him.”
They drove around, stopping at several different locations, until they came to the location of the business on the south end of Spanish Fork Main Street where the UCSO lieutenant saw the car, the UCSP statement says.
“At this last location, the 17-year-old suspect sexually assaulted the girl. She tried to resist, and the boy told her that before they left, she was going to have sex with him. It was about this time that they left the parking lot and were stopped by the lieutenant. The car the boy was driving was stolen earlier this morning from a home in Salt Lake County.”
The boy was booked into the Slate Canyon Youth Detention Center on initial charges of:
- Child kidnapping, first-degree felony
- Vehicle theft, second-degree felony
- Obstruction of justice, second-degree felony
- False personal information, class A misdemeanor
- No driver license, infraction
- No insurance, infraction
Spanish Fork police responded and are investigating the alleged sex offense committed against this juvenile, the statement says. That investigation may result in additional charges.
The girl was returned to her parents.