17-year-old arrested for kidnapping 12-year-old

Apr 26, 2022, 4:08 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm

A cougar attack in Spanish Fork Canyon left a 70-year-old man in fair condition, sheriff's office s...

A Utah County Sheriff vehicle is pictured in Spanish Fork on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Photo credit: Yukai Peng, Deseret News.)

(Photo credit: Yukai Peng, Deseret News.)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah County Sheriff’s Office said it arrested a 17-year-old boy after finding a kidnapped 12-year-old in his car. The 17-year-old was taken to the Slate Canyon Youth Detention Center.

The sheriff’s office said the arrest occurred after a Utah County Lieutenant driving down Main Street in Spanish Fork spotted a car parked at a business that was closed.

The car had its lights on and was not parked properly in a parking stall.

The lieutenant continued driving south, and then noticed the car in question driving north. It was reportedly traveling 60 mph in a 40 mph zone, so the lieutenant initiated a traffic stop.

Police said that the lieutenant spoke to the driver and passenger, who gave conflicting stories. Eventually, the lieutenant learned that the boy was 17 and from Salt Lake County and that the girl was 12 and from Utah County.

The sheriff’s office said that it learned through its investigation that the two minors met on social media. They had been interacting online for several months.

Investigators learned that the boy somehow found out the girl’s address and picked her up there sometime before 5:00 a.m. Tuesday. The two drove around, stopping at several locations.

The sheriff’s office said that when the two stopped at the closed Spanish Fork business, the boy sexually assaulted the girl. 

The car driven by the 17-year-old boy was stolen from a Salt Lake County home, police said.

The 17-year-old was taken in on suspicion of multiple offenses including kidnapping, car theft, and obstruction of justice.

Spanish Fork Police said it was investigating the sexual assault.

Related: Utah missing girl’s case highlights new concerns over virtual world apps

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17-year-old arrested for kidnapping 12-year-old