Detectives with the Utah County Sheriff's Office made 5 arrests following a report of a kidnapping. One of these persons was arrested for aggravated assault. The investigation continues.
*** UPDATE *** On Wednesday, September 17, 2014, Payson Police received a tip regarding the location of a suspect, Rodolfo Licea, aka "Rudy", age 20, Heber City, street name "Smiley", in the aggravated kidnapping Utah County Sheriff's Office Detectives investigated on Sunday, September 14. When Payson Officers went to the home where the suspect was hiding he ran out the back door. Officers with Payson Police, Santaquin Police, Utah County Sheriff's Office, and Spanish Fork Police attempted to contain the area where the suspect ran but he slipped away. A short time later Licea was spotted and ran again. Officers set up a perimeter and a K9 Officer with Spanish Fork Police conducted an area search with his police service dog. The K9 located the suspect hiding in a boat. Licea was then taken into custody without further incident. He was booked into jail on charges from the incident Sunday, including Aggravated Kidnapping and Robbery. Additionally, for his behavior today, he was booked on two counts of Failure to Stop at the Command of Police. Licea was also booked on 5 outstanding arrest warrants related to drugs, domestic violence, no insurance, and driving on a suspended driver license. Investigators are still looking for one more suspect in this incident.
On 9/14/14, just before 7:00 AM, Provo Police made contact with a group of people who told them they were looking for a missing 16 year old girl. Initially investigators believed this incident occurred in Orem. Through the course of the investigation they learned it occurred in unincorporated Utah County near Orem. At about 7:40 AM a Deputy was dispatched to a report of an abandoned vehicle in a canal in the West Mountain area, west of Payson and Spanish Fork. They learned that this abandoned vehicle was stolen in the incident involving the girl, who was actually 17 years old.
Then, around 10:00 AM, Orem Dispatch received a 911 call from a man who said he arrived at work and found a man injured and bleeding. It was later learned that this man sustained these injuries during an assault. He was stabbed multiple times and was bleeding profusely. He was stabilized and taken to an area hospital.
After getting the stabbing victim to the hospital investigators attempted to determine if there had actually been a kidnapping. After several hours they were able to locate the 17 year old girl. They also identified several other witnesses and suspects in this case. Information they gathered through interviews led them to determine that the 17 year old girl had, in fact, been held against her will for several hours. Investigators learned that there was a debt of some kind owed to the stabbing victim. He is reported to have held the 17 year old against her will while two other men went to collect on the debt. They were unable to collect on the debt. Friends of the 17 year old girl reportedly responded to an auto repair shop where they assaulted the man, stabbing him several times.
While the assault with the knife took place, the 17 year old girl was taken by several other people, men and women, in a car and they drove to different areas in Utah County from West Mountain and Payson, to Pleasant Grove. At length the kidnap victim was released in Vineyard, near Geneva Road and I-15.
To this point there have been 6 arrests in this case. 5 of these are adults and 1 is a juvenile. Those arrested are: 1 - Yanio Bladimir Palomo, age 42. He is the victim of the stabbing and was arrested for two outstanding warrants. 2 - Brandon William Warrilow, age 20, Aggravated Kidnapping. 3 - Christian Ivan Gutierrez, age 27, Aggravated Assault. 4 - Chantelle Nicole Powelson, age 18, Aggravated Kidnapping. 5 - Sharcee Lachelle Distefano, age 21, Aggravated Kidnapping. And 6 - Juvenile, age 17, booked into Slate Canyon Youth Detention Center, Evidence Tampering and Obstruction of Justice. All of these suspects live in Orem or Provo.
This remains an active investigation and investigators expect to arrest more people involved in this incident. Additionally, as information becomes more clear some of those already arrested may have additional charges processed. The 17 year old kidnapping victim was not harmed in this case and is home with family.
For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office. (801)404-1912. Twitter: SGTCannonPIO