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Utah AMBER Alert victim located in Nebraska, suspect in custody

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Posted at 3:54 PM, Dec 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-28 20:15:50-05

LAYTON, Utah — A Utah AMBER Alert was canceled after a 13-year-old teenager from Layton who police believe was abducted by a 26-year-old non-relative was found in Nebraska.

The teen and suspect, 26-year-old Arizona resident Aaron Zeman, were located in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Layton police said a gas station attendant recognized that something was "off" between the victim and suspect and called police who arrested Zeman, who also goes by the names Hunter Fox and Tadashi Kojima.

Police initially believed the teen was abducted by a man who was initially "suspected" to be named Hunter Fox. However, officials later gave an update that the man's real name is Aaron Zeman.

Police said Zeman communicated with the teenager on the internet before the teen left his home late Monday night to meet the man.

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Aaron Zemen (aka "Hunter Fox" or "Tadashi Kojima")

Originally, officials believed the pair was on their way to Arizona or Texas. They are not related.

Beth Cooper, a close friend of to the family of the teen, described the 13-year-old as a handsome, brilliant young man.

“He comes from a very loving household, safe environment, he's grown up with two loving parents his entire life," she said. "This just isn't one of those scenarios that he's trying to run away from a bad home. He was manipulated by someone pretending to be someone they were not.”

Tuesday morning, his parents told Layton Police their son went missing overnight, according to Lt. Travis Lyman.

“The fact that the child is 13, if he left with this adult without the parents’ consent, that's kidnapping," he said.

Lyman said the parents had reported to police that their son was talking to the 26-year-old suspect a few weeks ago.

“It really does become our highest priority when a child is missing like this," he said. "We're doing everything we can on every front to try and find him.”

Cooper said Zeman asked the teen to bring his passport, which he did.

“You have an older man posing to be someone else, confusing a 13-year-old minor things that he's not aware of in life," said Cooper. "He doesn't understand yet why when somebody asks you to leave your house, you don't go.”