Park City Police recover kidnapped boy
December 26, 2014
Two men were arrested in Park City on Friday for multiple felonies, including child kidnapping, aggravated robbery, theft and failure to stop for law enforcement.
Gustavo Vasquez-Nava, 19, and Ruben Anthony Morales, 28, were both booked into the Summit County Jail after leading Park City police officers on a short foot chase. Child kidnapping is a first-degree felony, punishable by a mandatory prison sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
Park City police officers stopped a green Isuzu Rodeo parked in an alleyway near a convenience store, located at 2010 Park Avenue, in Park City, after a vehicle matching the SUV’s description was reported as stolen in connection with an 11-year-old male child’s kidnapping, said Captain Justin Martinez, with the Summit County Sheriff’s Department.
While one of the suspects was in the convenience store purchasing alcohol, Park City police officers approached the vehicle. The passenger fled on foot, before being tased into compliance by police officers. The other suspect ran from the store and jumped over a wall, possibly breaking his leg, before surrendering to officers.
The child, who had been reported missing from the Elk Meadows apartment complex in the Snyderville Basin at approximately 12:30 a.m., was located in the stolen vehicle.
"He was found in the back seat," Martinez said. "He was not restrained, just very scared."
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The boy’s mother contacted dispatch after the boy went to the car to retrieve a cell phone, but didn’t return. The family also reported their vehicle was missing.
The child was reportedly approached by Vasquez-Nava, who lives in Elk Meadows, and Morales, in the parking lot of the apartment complex where they demanded money from him, Martinez said. He added, there is no other connection between the suspects and the victim.
"Like any 11-year-old, he told them he didn’t have any," Martinez said. "But then they saw the cell phones and keys in his hand, so he gives them to them and says he just wants to go home."
Vasquez-Nava and Morales then grabbed the boy by the nape of his neck and threw him in the vehicle, with his hood pulled over his eyes, Martinez said.
"They told him ‘we’ll shoot you if you say or do anything,’" Martinez said. "All the little boy could say was, ‘I don’t want to die.’"
No weapons were located on the suspects or in the vehicle.
According to police, Vasquez-Nava and Morales drove to two convenience stores in Summit County and attempted to buy beer, but were turned away.
The two suspects continued to drive around the area until eventually being stopped by Park City police officers, who determined their vehicle matched the stolen SUV’s description.
"There was no real motive for this," Martinez said. "There was no ransom or motive other than they thought they would take this boy along and disrupt his life."
"Ultimately, I’m glad it turned out the way it did and we were able to unite him with his family so quickly," Martinez said. "It is because of our good working relationship with the Park City Police and because of the relationships and dedication of our officers being out there on Christmas night, that we were able to return him very quickly and safely to his family."
Vasquez-Nava and Morales are each being held on $200,000 bail in the Summit County Jail.
According to Summit County Prosecutor Matthew Bates, Vasquez-Nava remains incarcerated on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold, while Morales is considered an extraditable fugitive of justice from Arizona.
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