Man convicted of abducting young girls arrested again in southern Utah

Oct 17, 2022, 8:56 PM | Updated: Nov 19, 2022, 12:32 am

A call about a suspicious vehicle in a Walmart parking lot in St. George ended with a couple of arr...

A call about a suspicious vehicle in a Walmart parking lot in St. George ended with a couple of arrests, including one person wanted in connection with an attempted murder in Colorado. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A convicted sex offender who spent nine years in the Utah State Prison for kidnapping young girls in the Sandy area nearly two decades ago has been arrested again and placed on a 72-hour hold by Adult Probation and Parole as St. George police investigate new allegations.

In addition to having a 72-hour hold placed on him, Andrew James Gwilliam, 42, of St. George, was booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility on Monday morning for investigation of two counts of violating the conditions of being a restricted sex offender, according to jail records. Specifically, he requested or invited a child to accompany him, according to police.

On Friday, police were called to the Little Valley area after Gwilliam allegedly asked two girls the previous day if they would help him clean a church, according to a statement from St. George police. According to the affidavit, the two girls were selling homemade jewelry on a street corner when Gwilliam allegedly contacted approached them. The girls told him, “No,” police said.

One of the people who called officers said they showed pictures of sex offenders in the area to the two girls, and they identified Gwilliam as the man who approached them, according to the affidavit.

Another person said he went back to the same area the next day and was able to get a picture of the man who had approached the girls as well as pictures of his vehicle and license plate, police stated.

With that information, police were able to quickly track down Gwilliam.

In 2002, Gwilliam was convicted of an amended charge of attempted forcible sexual abuse and two counts of aggravated kidnapping. He was sentenced to 10 years to life in the Utah State Prison and is required to register with the Utah Sex Offender and Kidnap Registry. Gwilliam was paroled in 2012.

In that case, police say Gwilliam kidnapped six girls and women at knife or gunpoint over a seven-month period in the Sandy area as they walked alone. The victims ranged in age from 12 to 20.

When Gwilliam was sentenced in 2003, a pre-sentence report noted that he apparently began to behave strangely after suffering a severe head injury while serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His defense attorney at the time said his neurological problems could be treated with medication and therapy.

In 2015, he was arrested again for investigation of two counts of kidnapping for allegedly forcing two 14-year-old girls to go to a hotel with him where he sexually assaulted them. He was temporarily sent back to prison after his arrest for parole violation, but formal charges were never filed in that case due to a lack of evidence.

St. George police say the alleged incident this past weekend is a good reminder for parents to talk to their children about stranger danger, and if they see something suspicious contact police.

KSL-TV’s Michael Houck added new information provided by an affidavit that was later on released. 

KSL 5 TV Live


View from outside the Utah State Prison....

Amy Donaldson, KSL Podcasts

‘The Letter Season 2’: Letters lead to meeting killer, life-changing moment

The sister of a murdered man reaches out to the killer. She did it without the knowledge of the rest of her family and it changed the course of all their lives.

10 hours ago

An officer-involved critical incident protocol was invoked in Millcreek on Tuesday May 20, 2024. Un...

Mary Culbertson

Millcreek kidnapping suspect killed by police after teen was held hostage, authorities say

A suspected kidnapper was shot and killed by officers late Monday after responding to a reported kidnapping and "hostage situation," Unified police said.

16 hours ago

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 21:Former U.S. President Donald Trump appears in court with attorneys Emil...

Michael R. Sisak, Jake Offenhartz, Jennifer Peltz and Colleen Long

Defense rests without Trump taking the witness stand in his New York hush money trial

Donald Trump’s defense rests without the former president taking the witness stand in his New York hush money trial.

17 hours ago

A 4th District judge on Monday ordered Kent Cody Barlow, a man charged with causing the deaths of t...

Emily Ashcraft,

Man ordered to stand trial for murder in deaths of 2 Eagle Mountain toddlers playing in a corral

A 4th District judge on Monday ordered Kent Cody Barlow, a man charged with causing the deaths of two Eagle Mountain toddlers, to stand trial for two counts of murder.

1 day ago

Richins and her legal team in the courtroom....

Mark Jones

Judge grants motion to allow defense attorneys to withdraw from Kouri Richins case

In a private hearing Monday, the attorneys for Kouri Richins were granted a motion to withdraw as her defense team.

1 day ago

Ioelu Ioelu Toafe, 42, being arrest by Unified police officers after leading them on chase in a sto...

Michael Houck

Body camera shows police chase involving man carjacking a woman with a BB gun

Police body camera shows the moments of a Salt Lake City man being arrested and questioned after carjacking a woman with a fake gun in 2022.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Man convicted of abducting young girls arrested again in southern Utah