A 41-year-old man has been arrested and booked into jail for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl and then abducting her with the intent of spiriting her south across the U.S.-Mexico border.
West Valley City police Sgt. Mike Powell said the girl's parents had reported her missing about 9 p.m. Thursday from her home near 6100 West and 3650 South. Police had already been investigating the man, who is the girl's uncle, in connection with alleged sexual offenses involving the girl over the past two years.
Detectives learned that the man had plans to take the girl with him to his native Mexico. What Powell described as "a large-scale response" by multiple law enforcement agencies ensued.
Within hours, further information developed by investigators soon led to the apprehension of the man about two blocks from the girl's West Valley City home.
Powell did not detail the circumstances of the apprehension except to say that the man was taken into custody without further incident and that the girl was recovered unharmed and eventually returned to her parents.
Theman was being held without bail in Salt Lake County jail Friday on suspicion of first-degree felony counts of child rape, aggravated sexual abuse of a child and child kidnapping.