“Vampire Trucker” appears in Utah court

Posted at 11:51 AM, May 12, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — A man nicknamed the “Vampire Trucker” made his first appearance in a federal courtroom here on kidnapping and sex crimes charges.

Timothy Vafeades is accused of kidnapping two women and taking them to other states where they were repeatedly sexually assaulted. A federal complaint also accuses Vafeades of taking a dremel to the victims’ teeth.

According to charging documents, a 19-year-old girl said she arrived in Salt Lake City on May 17, 2013 to start working for Vafeades on his semi. He sexually assaulted her inside the semi, named “Twilight Express.” When she tried to leave, federal agents wrote, Vafeades beat her until she blacked out.

“Vafeades forced Victim A to stay with him using threats and violence for six months,” FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Green wrote in an affidavit filed with charges.

The complaint said Vafeades drove with the woman across the country, repeatedly beating and raping her. FBI agents wrote that Vafeades kept the woman’s ID, Social Security Card and cell phone SIM card in his wallet.

“Victim A reported that Vafeades did not like her crooked teeth and thought she had an ugly smile,” Green wrote. “Vafeades shaved her teeth with a dremel and chipped her teeth with an exacto knife so she could wear false teeth that he ordered to put over her real teeth. Vafeades had his own set of false teeth with vampire fangs on them.”

The victim told authorities that Vafeades also watched child pornography, FBI agents wrote in charging documents. In November 2013, officers at a weigh station in Clay County, Minnesota, noticed the woman’s bruises and arrested Vafeades for violating a protective order.

After watching news reports about Vafeades, another woman came forward and said she met Vafeades at a truck stop in Salt Lake City in April 2012. She said she met him for dinner, but was kidnapped and driven to Texas, FBI agents wrote.

The woman also claimed she had been held captive for three months, sexually assaulted and beaten.

“Victim B reported that Vafeades tried to change her identity by having her hair cut and colored,” Green wrote. “He also used a dremel to file down one of her teeth. Vafeades took Victim B’s driver’s license and Social Security card. He also forced her to marry him.”

Charging documents say the woman claimed she was Vafeades’ “slave.” The woman escaped in July 2012 when authorities intervened in Florida, the FBI said. Vafeades is facing battery charges in that state.

Court records show Vafeades pleaded not guilty to federal charges of kidnapping, transportation for illegal sexual activity, transportation of child pornography and possession of child pornography. He was appointed a public defense attorney and a federal judge ordered him detained in U.S. Marshal’s custody.

Vafeades is due back in court on June 20.