Armed with a butcher knife, a Salt Lake County man allegedly broke into the home of his estranged girlfriend and kidnapped her and their young child Monday.
About 5:45 a.m. the man made his way into the house, 4599 S. Russell St. (2500 East), using a key hidden outside, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Potter. He ordered the 20-year-old woman and the 14-month-old baby into her car.The trio left and drove toward Parleys Summit, Potter said. Somewhere in that area, the woman escaped and called the Summit County Sheriff's Office. They notified Salt Lake officials, and a detective was sent to Coalville to bring the woman back.
Potter said they took the woman back to the house she was kidnapped from in hopes that the man might try to contact her there. About an hour after she arrived, the man, who still had the child, began calling from various pay phones in the area.
Police had placed a tracing device on the woman's telephone so they were able to tell the man's general whereabouts. Potter said deputies in unmarked patrol cars flooded the area.
Potter said investigators believed the man was still armed, possibly with a handgun, and when he called the woman he threatened to kill or hurt their daughter.
Around 11 a.m. Sgt. Mike Parr spotted a man matching the description sitting in a car.
"I could tell he was in some kind of distress," Parr said. The man was rubbing his head and leaning into his steering wheel, the detective sergeant said. So Parr followed.
The man traveled south on 2700 South to 2300 East where he turned right. Anticipating another stop at a pay phone, and knowing there was a 7-Eleven at the intersection of 2300 East and 3300 South, Parr told his detectives to follow the man into the parking lot while he continued straight to avoid suspicion.
Detective Bob Bobrowski drove into the parking lot after the man did, and waited hoping the man would leave the little girl in the car.
The man went inside to the counter of the store, where Parr and Bobrowski arrested him without incident.
"He seemed kind of relieved," Parr said. "It was just a lucky deal."
Parr said the little girl needed a diaper change and had been crying a little but was doing OK when she was returned to her mother.
The man was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated kidnapping.