SALT LAKE CITY -- A Salt Lake City woman carjacked and kidnapped was rescued during a routine traffic stop, according to Salt Lake City police.
It happened Friday evening outside an apartment complex along Foothill Drive, where Leslie Wilkey had just parked to visit her daughter.
“I couldn't even believe it. It was surreal,” Wilkey said.
As she stepped out of her car, Wilkey noticed a man approach her door. Initially, she thought it was her son-in-law, however, she quickly realized it was someone else -- a 17 year old male.
According to Wilkey, he asked for a ride. When she said no, the man became more and more persistent, ultimately forcing her door open.
“He said, ‘You are giving me a ride, and we are going right now and you will do what I say and don't give me any problems. I don't have a problem putting a bullet through you,’” explained Wilkey.
The two spent the next three hours driving all around Salt Lake City, according to Wilkey. They stopped at multiple ATM machines, where Wilkey said he forced her to withdraw as much cash as possible- $200. With the man behind the wheel, they then went to several gas stations and even a McDonald's, where they used the drive-thru.
“He was always reminding me as we pulled in and as we pulled away from each stop not to make a sound, not to make a face,” she said.
During their trips, Wilkey said the man was swerving and slurring his words, a result of some kind of drug she believed he had taken.
Eventually, after hours in the city, the man stated he needed to go to Vernal to help a friend. While thought of leaving the area terrified her, Wilkey directed the man to the freeway.
As they passed Heber a short time later, Wilkey said he complained he was tired and asked that she drive. Over the course of the next couple hours, she said he reclined in the passenger seat and drifted in and out of sleep.
She continued driving. It got later and later. Then, suddenly, she saw police lights turn on behind her. At about 1 a.m., an officer pulled them over for speeding just before Fort Duchesne.
“If he could have heard by heartbeat, it would have sounded like thunder, I'm sure,” Wilkey said. "My heart was beating so hard and so fast.”
An officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs asked for her identification, per protocol. But when he returned to her door minutes later, Wilkey noticed his demeanor was different.
“He said, ‘I sensed something wasn't right,’” she said.
The officer asked she step out of the car. The man remained inside of it. When they got a few feet away, the officer asked if she was OK and Wilkey quickly told him what happened.
“I appreciate his good work and his hunches his intuition,” Wilkey said. “It saved my life.”
According to Salt Lake City Police, which is handling the case, the 17-year-old is facing charges for kidnapping, robbery and carjacking.