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Three arrested after teen kidnapped for ransom in West Valley City

Posted at 10:49 PM, Aug 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 01:06:55-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- Three people are in jail facing charges after police said they held a teenager hostage for eight hours and demanded a cash ransom from his family.

West Valley Police said Issa Al-Sadoon, 26, Juan Carlos Moreno Trinidad, 41 and Nadia Avalos, 32, kidnapped the 17-year old boy Monday near 3500 South Redwood Road.

"Kidnapped him at gunpoint, and then contacted his family and demanded ransom," West Valley City Public Safety Director Roxeanne Vainuku said.

According to court documents, "the victim believed if he did not go with them his mother would likely be hurt."

The documents indicate the trio threatened to kill or harm the boy if his mother didn't pay the ransom.

Police learned of the kidnapping from the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force, Vainuku said.

"They came across, through the course of their investigation, information about this kidnapping of a 17-year old boy," she said.

The Utah County Sheriff's Office said the task force learned the information during a drug investigation.

Vainuku said the FBI joined the investigation, and that surveillance video of the suspect vehicle led them to a Motel 6 in South Salt Lake.

One of the suspects left the motel and police arrested him nearby, she said.

"Law enforcement made phone contact with the suspects who were still inside the motel room with the victim, and they were able to convince them to come out," Vainuku said.

Investigators found a loaded gun, several phones and a small amount of meth in the motel room, court documents state.

"The suspects and victim were interviewed," according to the documents, "Suspects admitted kidnapping victim for money."

While Vainuku said they're still figuring out how the suspects knew the 17-year old and his family, and what led to the kidnapping, she expressed that they do have some idea of motive.

"This 17-year-old in particular was targeted and this is all because of a drug related incident," she said.

Vainuku could not comment on the amount of ransom the three asked for. She said they each come from out of state.

Al-Sadoon and Trinidad both face charges of aggravated kidnapping, theft by extortion and transaction of a dangerous weapon by a Class I restricted person. Avalos is in jail on charges of child kidnapping and theft by extortion.