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Police: Two suspects kidnap man and threatened him with a machete

Sep 10, 2023, 6:23 PM

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)

(Ravell Call/Deseret News)

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — Two suspects allegedly kidnapped a man who owed them money and threatened him with a machete, police say.

According to the police affidavit, on Saturday evening, the victim texted his mother, saying he was being kidnapped and being taken to the Mountain View Trailer Park.

Police arrived at the trailer park and contacted several people in the trailer, including the victim.

According to the affidavit, police asked the victim to exit the trailer, and he told police “to put him in handcuffs and escort him off the property.” The officer noted the victim appeared distressed.

After being placed into police custody, the victim said he borrowed money from the two suspects, Tessa Maldonado, 27, and Ely Burns, 35, in order to buy drugs.

According to the affidavit, the victim said the two suspects forced him to share his location with GPS on his smartphone so they could visit him and get their money. When the two arrived, the victim told police he did not have their money or the pills he owed them.

The victim said Maldonado told him to get in their car backseat. Burns was also in the backseat with a serrated back machete sitting across his lap and was watching the victim.

According to the affidavit, the three arrived at the trailer and went inside “so they could conduct their business.”

The victim showed police text messages between him and Maldonado, with her stating he owed her money and counterfeit oxycodone pills.

According to the affidavit, when police arrived at the trailer park, Maldonado and Burns were found in the furthest rear bedroom of the trailer.

Police searched a bedroom where the two suspects were and found a machete wedged between the dresser and wall. Police believe the two suspects tried to hide the weapon.

According to the affidavit, police showed the victim the machete to confirm it was the weapon held by Burns, and he identified it as such.

Police questioned the owner of the trailer and the two suspects about the machete, but no one knew about it or the victim’s alleged kidnapping. Witnesses told police they saw Burns walking around with a large knife.

Burns was booked into the Davis County Jail on felony charges of aggravated kidnapping and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, according to the police affidavit.

Maldonado was also booked into the Davis County Jail on aggravated kidnapping, possession of a controlled substance marijuana/spice, possession of a controlled substance schedule I/II/analog, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Davis County Sheriff’s Office.

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Police: Two suspects kidnap man and threatened him with a machete