SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors have filed a kidnapping charge against a Salt Lake woman in connection with a missing man who police believe was murdered.
Allison Wells, 37, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony.
Wells was one of five people arrested last month in the case of 38-year-old Jason Nakonechni, who Salt Lake police believe was lured to a motel, brutally attacked and later killed. Nakonechni's body was found in Tooele County on Nov. 21.
Marilee Joan Borden, 43, Corey Lee Petersen, 53, Michael Shane Snyder, 40, and Rodney Neil Maxwell, 35, also have been charged with aggravated kidnapping in the case.
None of the defendants had been formally charged with murder as of Friday, though Wells was originally booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder.
Court documents say Borden and Wells lured Nakonechni to a Salt Lake County motel on Sept. 2, where Wells, Snyder and Maxwell ambushed and attacked him. Nakonechni "nearly escaped" but was "violently beaten, resulting in blood loss and the loss of several teeth," according to charging documents.
Police say Nakonechni was then taken to Petersen's home in West Valley City, where witnesses reported seeing him looking injured. One witness told police Petersen had previously complained that Nakonechni owed him money, according to court documents. A social media conversation between the two men also shows Petersen accusing Nakonechni of owing him, police said.
The group allegedly robbed Nakonechni of his car and dog as well. Police found his abandoned car on fire on Sept. 5, though he wasn't reported missing until Sept. 18.
Investigators believe Nakonechni was taken to Tooele County and killed after his time at Peterson's home, though they haven't disclosed the precise location where his body was discovered.
Charges say Wells "is possibly a material witness to a murder."
"The police spent a considerable amount of time looking for Wells before she was located living in an abandoned building and arrested," charges state.
Court records show Wells has been convicted four times of sexual solicitation. She has also been convicted of attempted possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, and giving false information to a police officer.