Ex-boyfriend charged with kidnapping
The man accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend in Park City and forcibly taking her to Flagstaff, Ariz., faces a federal charge carrying a possible life sentence in prison if he is convicted.
Federal prosecutors in Salt Lake City this week filed a kidnapping count against Mario Gutierrez-Ruiz, 47, alleging that on Sept. 11 he forced at gunpoint Amalia Morales-Pacheco, 30, into his car from a parking lot where she lived on Kearns Boulevard.
A grand jury could consider additional charges against Gutierrez-Ruiz, who also goes by the name of Regulo Payan, the prosecutors said.
A U.S. District Court clerk midmorning Friday said Gutierrez-Ruiz did not have an attorney.
The prosecutors say that Morales-Pacheco left her home at about 7:20 a.m. to go to her job as a housekeeper. At 5:30 a.m. the next day, after she had disappeared, she called her sister and told her that as she was ready to get into her car the suspect forced her into his 1991 Chevy Tahoe.
She had been reported as missing by friends and family at about 5 p.m. the day she disappeared, the prosecutors said. At that time, the Park City Police Department was told that the family "suspected foul play involving" the suspect, prosecutors said.
In the 5:30 a.m. call on Sept. 12, Morales-Pacheco said that the suspect had threatened to hurt her and her boyfriend, the prosecutors said, noting that the call was made from a bathroom because she did not want Gutierrez-Ruiz to see her on the phone.
Later that day, at about 5 p.m., the sister got a call from Morales-Pacheco from a Flagstaff hospital. She said she did not feel good because she had not had food for two days and wanted the sister to pick her up, the prosecutors said.
Special agents from the FBI and officers from the Flagstaff Police Department descended on the hospital and arrested Gutierrez-Ruiz.
The court filing, meanwhile, details the ending of a long-term relationship between the suspect and the victim. According to the filing, Gutierrez-Ruiz had been stalking her, she told the police on July 7. The filing indicates that the two previously had been boyfriend and girlfriend for a long time but she had broken up with him about a year before.
The alleged stalking made Morales-Pacheco fear "for her personal safety and her life" because she "believed Gutierrez-Ruiz to be a violent person," the prosecutors said, adding that the suspect had once threatened that if she got a new boyfriend, he would kill him.
Morales-Pacheco won a stalking injunction against Gutierrez-Ruiz, prohibiting him from "coming near to her, her residence and work place" and prohibiting him from contacting her, according to the prosecutors.
Gutierrez-Ruiz on Friday was in jail in Flagstaff awaiting extradition to Utah, Mike Fierro, a Park City detective who investigated, said. Morales-Pacheco returned to Park City and Fierro said the Police Department and the FBI interviewed her on Friday.
Fierro said the two met at a Park City hotel where they were both working. She was a housekeeper and he was her supervisor, according to Fierro, who said that the two dated while they were working at the hotel.
While they were dating, though, he was living in Heber with a woman and two children he had with the woman, prompting Morales-Pacheco to end the relationship, Fierro said. But Gutierrez-Ruiz in the spring separated from the woman he was living with and started courting Morales-Pacheco again, he said.
"I think the man was obsessed so he goes and grabbed her," Fierro said.
Gutierrez-Ruiz does not have a significant police record, he said.
"The guy’s been living and working in this area, people are telling me, for 10 years and he has a minor criminal record," Fierro said.
After Morales-Pacheco was reported missing, the authorities launched a manhunt to the Mexican border for her and Gutierrez-Ruiz, who the police quickly linked to the disappearance.
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Park City’s late fire chief Paul Hewitt was remembered for his desire to help others, largeness of spirit and improbable feats during a public memorial Thursday.