Three people have been charged with kidnapping a West Valley City teenager and holding him for ransom.
West Valley Police said the 17-year-old boy was abducted Monday near 3500 S. Redwood Road and held in a room at a Motel 6 in South Salt Lake. According to court documents, the teen was taken at gunpoint and the suspects “demanded a cash ransom” from the teen's mother, telling her “that they would kill or do bodily harm to the victim if their demands were not met” — and they wanted $5,000.
The charging document reports that the “suspects admitted kidnapping victim for money.” And the teenager “believed if he did not go with them his mother would likely be hurt.”
According to WVCPD spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku, the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force learned of the kidnapping while working an unrelated case and alerted West Valley Police and the FBI.
Three Phoenix residents — Juan Carlos Moreno Trinidad, 41; Issa Al-Sadoon, 26; and Nadia Avalos, 31; were arrested Tuesday by West Valley City police. On Thursday, they were charged with aggravated kidnapping, theft by extortion and weapons charges in 3rd District Court.
Authorities located the teenager and the three suspects at the motel, and took one of the suspects into custody when he left the room and went to a rented car. According to the charging document, a firearm was found inside the car “and a large knife was found on [his] waistband.”
The other two suspects were talked into surrendering. The teenager was freed unharmed, and a second firearm, several phones and a “small amount of a crystal-like substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine” were found in the room.
According to police, this was not a random kidnapping; the suspects singled out the teenager's mother because of what they said was a drug-related debt.
Court documents state that one of the suspects “admitted to being addicted to heroin and said he was going through withdrawals.”