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Man charged in alleged kidnapping of Herriman girl

Published January 25, 2013 8:05 pm

Courts • Draper man, 55, allegedly kept 13-year-old girl at his home for two days.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Draper man was charged Friday with kidnapping a 13-year-old Herriman girl earlier this month and hiding her for two days while officials and hundreds of volunteers searched for her.

Angel Vizuet Garcia, 55, was charged in 3rd District Court with one count each of first-degree felony child kidnapping, second-degree felony obstruction of justice and class A misdemeanor reckless endangerment.

If convicted of the kidnapping count, Garcia faces up to life in prison.

No hearing date has been set in the case and court records do not indicate whether Garcia has an attorney.

Garcia remained in the Salt Lake County Jail on Friday. Bail is set at $150,000.

Unified Police detectives arrested Garcia on Jan. 16, about a week after Brooklyn Gittins disappeared from her home wearing only pajamas and no shoes. After a two-day, community-wide search, Gittins called her grandparents from a Wal-Mart store in South Jordan.

After a few days of not telling investigators what happened, the girl eventually told police that she called Garcia using a pre-paid phone he had given her and he picked her up on the night of Jan. 8.

In a probable-cause statement included in court papers, investigators say police looked for Gittins at Garcia's home, but he told them he had not seen the blond-haired teen since July.

Gittins was actually hiding inside the home, and she hid out of sight in Garcia's van when he left to pick his daughter up from school, according to the documents. Investigators also said Garcia left Gittins alone in a snow-covered field wearing only pajamas and socks and picked her up hours later after police searched his residence.

It was later that same night that Garcia drove Gittins to an area Wal-Mart so she could call her grandparents, according to the documents.

A check of Utah court records shows no previous criminal charges have been filed against Garcia.

jdobner@sltrib.com