CRIME, POLICE + COURTS
Update: Suspect arrested after South Salt Lake abduction caught on tape
SOUTH SALT LAKE — The man police suspect of carrying out a kidnapping at a convenience store in South Salt Lake is now in custody.
South Salt Lake police booked Carl Gravitt, age 22, into the Salt Lake County jail for investigation of kidnapping, assault, the receipt and/or transfer of a stolen vehicle, and the possession of drug paraphernalia.
The victim has been interviewed and has received a medical evaluation, police said.
South Salt Lake abduction initially appeared to involve a teen
Earlier on Saturday morning, South Salt Lake Police released more information about the abduction from a local gas station that turned into an Amber Alert on Friday night.
Initially, police believed the kidnapper took a young woman about 16 years old. Later, they revealed her age as that of an adult. And though they did not release her identity, police did release her height and weight, as well as her shoe size, to emphasize why they considered her so young.
“Witnesses at the scene described the victim in this case as possibly a teenager. … (And) a shoe was left at the scene which was a size 3,” said South Salt Lake Police Public Information Officer Danielle Croyle.
Croyle said that the victim was 5’1″, 85 lbs, and was born in 1985.
Amber Alerts require specific criteria
Police agencies must meet four criteria in order for the Utah Department of Public Safety to send out an Amber Alert. They include:
- Evidence that a child was abducted
- The victim is 17 years of age or younger
- Investigators believe the victim faces imminent danger
- Police possess information to release than can help locate the victim as well as apprehend the suspect
“Because they did not have a name or a date of birth we could not activate the Amber Alert,” Officer Croyle continued. “The witnesses reported that they believed it was a teenager.”
As to why it took so long to send the Amber Alert, Croyle said, “because of those qualifications for an Amber Alert we had to receive special permission to push that information out.”
By around 3:45 a.m., the Amber Alert went out to area broadcasters, who alerted the public.
Ordeal captured by surveillance camera
Surveillance cameras caught the South Salt Lake abduction on video, as bystanders pumped gas. It took place at a gas station at 310 East 3300 South around 10:30 Friday night.
The footage showed a 1990 Red Nissan Pathfinder pull up to the mini-mart. After the driver walked toward the store, the video showed a woman getting out of the vehicle, running to another mini-mart patron.
According to police, the woman appeared to be hiding from the driver of the red Nissan Pathfinder by going underneath a truck that was getting gas at the time.
Next, the man ran after her, grabbing her from beneath the truck, pulling her away.
Video showed the young woman kicking and crying out, “Help me, please help me,” as he carried her over his shoulder to his vehicle, then drove off.
Police said residents in the area helped them identify both the victim and the suspect before ultimately locating them and making an arrest.
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