LOCAL NEWS

Utah man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Arizona girl

May 24, 2024, 9:56 AM | Updated: 6:33 pm

HURRICANE — A man was taken into custody on Thursday on suspicion of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl.

The man was identified in a probable cause affidavit, as 49-year-old Theral Hammon.

According to the affidavit, officers were notified of a suspicious vehicle “where an adult male was trying to get young juvenile females in the car.”

The car was later found in the parking lot of a Super 8 Hotel in Hurricane. Officers checked the hotel for the girls and found two juveniles, ages 12 and 13.

The 13-year-old girl was a runaway from the Colorado City, Arizona, area and the 12-year-old was listed as a runaway from Hurricane. Colorado City is approximately 24 miles southeast of Hurricane, just across the Utah-Arizona border.

Officers located the man in the parking lot of the Super 8 Hotel in his car. Hammon was advised of his Miranda rights and agreed to talk to police about the incident. He admitted to picking up the 13-year-old girl from her grandma’s house where she lives and bringing her to Hurricane about 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Hammon was found with marijuana and said he uses it for medicinal purposes but no medical card was located on file by officers. A search of his vehicle was conducted and officers found tinfoil in the passenger side floorboard of the car with a burnt substance on it. The substance was tested and showed positive for methamphetamine.

When asked by officers what Hammon did with the two girls, he said he picked up the 13-year-old and then picked up a friend and brought them to the Super 8 Hotel where he got a room and bought them pizza. He said he handed them the pizza and then stayed in the car and played on his phone. “He knew the girls were both juveniles and was going to take them back home on Thursday.”

The girls were interviewed and the 12-year-old disclosed that she met Hammon and the 13-year-old girl at a friend’s house in Hurricane. During this time, Hammon and the 13-year-old tried to get her and her friend into the car, “but adults were around telling all three girls not to get in the car with (Hammon). The 12-year-old and 13-year-old girls did but the other girl, who is also 12 years old, didn’t get in the car, then the car left.”

The 13-year-old disclosed in her interview that Hammon had tried to get them to smoke methamphetamine and marijuana with him. She also told officers he tried to force himself onto her and touch her inappropriately several times, but she was able to push his hand away.

Hammon was placed on a no-bail hold “as this case deals with a kidnapping and him also being a suspect in a possible sexual offense with one of the girls,” the affidavit stated.

Hammon could face charges of kidnapping, harboring runaway juveniles, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and distribution of a controlled substance.

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Utah man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Arizona girl