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Man arrested in estranged wife’s abduction

She’s found tied to motel room bed in Kaysville

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Scott A. Rainford

Scott A. Rainford

KAYSVILLE — A Weber State University student was found tied to a motel room bed here Wednesday, not long after police say her estranged or former husband abducted her from a university campus parking lot.

Police from Kaysville and Layton stormed room 18 of the Far West Motel, 410 N. Main Street, about 1:15 p.m., after another man told police he had dropped the couple there, Layton Police Lt. Kevin Allred said.

Kaysville police took Scott A. Rainford, 34, from the motel in handcuffs. He was later booked into the Weber County Jail for investigation of assault, burglary, kidnapping and protective order violation, a jail lieutenant said. He is being held without bail.

Rebecca Rainford, 34, suffered some injuries in the alleged incident and was taken to an Ogden hospital for treatment, Kaysville Police Chief Dave Helquist said.

Court records indicate that the couple divorced and had their marriage annulled in 1989, but Wednesday WSU and Layton police both said the couple was married. Justin Stringfellow, an attorney for Rebecca Rainford, could not say Wednesday whether the Rainfords were divorced, married or separated.

As recently as last month Rebecca Rainford had filed a protective order against Scott Rainford, which was issued on March 11. Jail records indicate that Scott Rainford violated the protective order on March 16, was arrested by WSU police and booked into the county jail. On Wednesday, WSU police were tipped to a possible abduction by another student who heard a "cry" and saw a man shove a pair of legs inside a red van and then drive away from lot 8A, university spokesman John Kowaleski said.

"The witness saw something that she deemed suspicious, took down the license plate number of the vehicle and called us," Kowaleski said. "She did exactly the right thing."

Checking the plate numbers on the van led police to a Layton residence, where a teen-aged male told Layton police the couple's location. Layton police then called Kaysville for help and the two agencies swooped in to rescue the woman. Scott Rainford opened the door when police arrived, Allred said. He had apparently suffered some injuries during the abduction, and Layton police took him to a local hospital before WSU officers transported him to jail. Helquist said Scott Rainford's injuries were believed to be self-inflicted and not caused by a firearm, but could not say exactly what they were. WSU police are taking the lead in the investigation because the alleged incident began on their campus, Kowaleski said. Far West co-manager Julie Austin said she thought something was odd about the man in the red van as soon as he pulled into the motel. The driver parked at the end of a row of rooms a good distance from the motel office and paid $45 cash for one night's stay, she said. Then he pulled the van "sideways" or parallel to the motel door. Most people park perpendicularly, she said. Austin didn't see anyone with the driver, nor did she or anyone else at the motel see or hear anything unusual, she said.

She noted that "the guy they took out in handcuffs was not the guy who rented the room." A search of Utah court records indicates that Rebecca Rainford was seeking a permanent protective order against Scott Rainford. The March 11 "ex parte," or temporary, protective order was supposed to keep Scott Rainford away until a 2nd District judge could hear the case, said Stringfellow, who represented her in the matter. Having violated the order within five days, Scott Rainford was accordingly charged, Stringfellow said.

Court records show that Scott Rainford was married and divorced from another Utah woman in 1996. That woman sought court-ordered protection from him in 1997 and in 2003. The order was later dismissed at the request of both parties, the records show.

E-mail: jdobner@desnews.com, lhancock@desnews.com