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Deputies arrest West Valley man in kidnapping case

A West Valley man was arrested Thursday after police say he held a woman against her will by driving her around in a car through several counties.
A West Valley man was arrested Thursday after police say he held a woman against her will by driving her around in a car through several counties.
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OGDEN — A West Valley man was arrested Thursday after police say he held a woman against her will by driving her around in a car through several counties.

Preston Michael Cowlishaw, 25, was booked into the Weber County Jail for investigation of possession of a stolen vehicle, kidnapping, fleeing in a vehicle, fleeing on foot, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.

The incident began Wednesday evening when Cowlishaw picked up a 25-year-old woman, a family acquaintance, at her home in Salt Lake City, said Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Lane Findlay.

The incident was still under investigation Friday, but said at some point the ride apparently went from voluntary to involuntary. The woman said Cowlishaw would not let her out of the car, would not let her use her cellphone, and made both threats and sexual advances toward her, Findlay said.

The couple drove through Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties for several hours. About 10:45 p.m., the couple stopped at a toll road, 5919 S. Adams Ave, in Washington Terrace. Findlay said the woman got out of the car and started walking toward an office that was closed.

The toll road attendant noticed they were fighting, and then allegedly witnessed Cowlishaw grab the woman and force her back into the car. At that point the attendant called 911 saying it appeared the woman was trying to get away from the man.

A sheriff's deputy arrived at the scene just as the vehicle was leaving and pursued it onto Adams Avenue Parkway. The deputy lost track of the car near South Ogden, but later caught up with it on the north end of the parkway where it dead-ends.

"The car had gone off the roadway, down an embankment, and had crashed into some trees," Findlay said.

The woman was standing outside the car uninjured, but Cowlishaw had run off. Investigators learned that the car had been stolen out of Salt Lake, Findlay said.

Cowlishaw was arrested by South Salt Lake police Thursday night. Findlay did not have details Friday on how the man was found.

The woman who was allegedly kidnapped was also booked into jail for having seven outstanding warrants, including one for felony drug possession.

Court records show Cowlishaw has a lengthy criminal history in Utah.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam