West Jordan teacher facing child kidnapping charge after allegedly taking autistic student on 40-minute walk

Amy Louise Martz. Photo Courtesy: Salt Lake County

WEST JORDAN, Utah, Nov. 19, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A West Jordan teacher who allegedly took an autistic student for a 40-minute walk more than half a mile away from her school has been charged with child kidnapping.

Amy Louise Martz, 49, of West Jordan, was charged with the first-degree felony in Salt Lake County’s 3rd District Court, according to court documents. A $25,000 warrant was issued for Martz’s arrest Monday; she is now in custody.

The statement from the girl’s mother said that on or about Sept. 4, her 5-year-old child who is “autistic and mostly non-verbal, never returned from school.”

The mother went to the school and notified staff. A short time later, the statement said, Martz, who is a teacher at the school, notified administration she was with the child.

The statement does not name the school in question, however, the faculty and staff page for Fox Hollow Elementary School at 6020 W. 8200 South lists Amy Martz as a sixth grade teacher.

School officials said they got a call from Martz saying she “was in a bit of a pickle” and had taken the child in hand to help her find her mother.

“Martz walked into a neighborhood with (the child) through ‘two circles’ near a dog park approximately 0.7 miles away from the school,” the statement said.

Another teacher at the school saw Martz walking with the child and brought them back to the school, the statement said.

The principal of the school said Martz had been away from the school and alone with the child for approximately 40 minutes and that Martz “stated she had tried to give (the child) a piggy back ride,” the statement said.

School surveillance footage shows Martz walking hand-in-hand with the child, then passing the teacher on bus duty. “Martz takes (the child) and walks past the teacher and walks north on school property,” the statement said.

Jordan School District officials have not yet publicly commented on the case.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Please find out what was actually happening when this caring teacher tried to help a crying child who was not picked up after school. If the teacher was not aware that the 5 year old was autistic and nonverbal, this may have been a compassionate attempt to walk where the student was pointing in an attempt to help her get home safely. Your phrases in this report are inflammatory and mislead readers to see a sinister intent.

  2. This teacher was the principal at my grandchildren’s school. She is the most compassionate, finest school employee I have ever met

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