clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


The second man charged with kidnapping and sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl in March 1987 was bound over to 1st District Court on Tuesday after being identified by the victim as her kidnapper.

Thomas C. Headley, 31, Snowville, Box Elder County, is charged with child kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse of a child and aggravated kidnapping. He appeared before 1st Circuit Judge Robert Daines for a preliminary hearing. He will enter a plea in district court Aug 1.After hearing evidence presented by Box Elder County Attorney Jon Bunderson, Daines found "sufficient cause to believe Thomas Campbell Headley is guilty of the charges thereof."

Tori Healey, Deweyville, Box Elder County, was 6 when she was taken from a middle school in Garland while waiting for her sister's gymnastics class to end on the evening of March 24. She was released in Malta, Idaho, about seven hours later. Her abductor had given her a dime to call her parents.

She went to several homes before someone let her in and helped her.

Healey described her kidnapper as a man with brown hair, slightly balding with a funny nose and who talked funny. She described his car as an older four-door, blue car with a decal on the glove compartment. She also described the man's dog as a "hot dog," which Box Elder deputy sheriffs clarified as a dachshund dog.

A Washington state man who matched the description given by Healey was picked up at a rest stop near Brigham City several hours after she was released in Malta. Frank Harvey was charged with child kidnapping, sexual abuse of a child and aggravated kidnapping. He spent the time awaiting his trial in Box Elder County Jail. Following a jury trial last August, Harvey was convicted of the charges and sentenced to 16 years in Utah State Prison.

Harvey was granted a new trial in January and released on his own recognizance at that time. On June 1, all charges against Harvey were dropped and Headley was charged.

During the preliminary hearing, Healey identified Headley as the man who kidnapped her. Spectators had first been cleared from the courtroom and moved to a room nearby where a sound system had been hooked up to allow them to hear Healey's testimony. Judge Daines ruled the courtroom closed during her testimony to lessen the stress Healey was experiencing.

Deputy Sheriff Mike Johnson testified later that Healey had identified Headley on May 16 from among six other photographs. Defense attorney Don Sharp on cross-examination pointed out to Johnson that Headley was the only one of the seven men who was wearing a down-filled jacket, similar to clothing Healey described her kidnapper as wearing.

A second identification of Headley came from a witness who had seen a blue car and a lone man at the middle school shortly before Healey was kidnapped.

Kelly Smith, Tremonton, father of a gymnastics student, had driven to the school to pick up his son. He passed a blue car with a white license plate with green letters, which he thought was an Idaho plate. He also saw a man standing about 30 yards away who was wearing loose clothing that could have been a vest. As Smith waved to the man, he turned and walked away.

Smith was shown photos of several men a few days after Healey was kidnapped. Harvey's photo was among them. Smith testified at Harvey's trail that he didn't think he could identify the man even if his picture were included with the others.

Yesterday, Smith testified that when he had seen a picture of Headley, the picture reminded him of the man he had seen. When questioned by Smart, Smith said that he had been mistaken that he wouldn't recognize the man if he saw him because, "I have now seen the person that I saw."

During closing arguments, Smart said, "Even today there is substantially more evidence that Harvey committed the kidnapping than Headley."

Before reaching his decision, Daines agreed with the two attorneys that calling the case "bizarre" isn't an exaggeration.