California man arrested for allegedly kidnapping girlfriend

Jun 24, 2024, 7:19 PM | Updated: 7:33 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY A California man is being held without bond at the Salt Lake County Jail for allegedly kidnapping his girlfriend over the weekend.

Jhony Efrain Sanchez Macha, 27, is facing a felony kidnapping charge and six counts of possession of forged writing.

According to West Valley City Police, Macha and the 21-year-old female victim were in a romantic relationship when they both lived in California.

The victim now lives in Utah.

“From what the victim reported, the suspect came to Utah and sort of deceived her into getting into his vehicle,” said Roxeanne Vainuku, spokesperson for West Valley City Police.

Victim contacted her family

Charging documents state Macha would not pull over to let the victim out. The victim was able to contact her family and send photos of her locations as Macha drove.

“The woman was able to reach out to her family and let them know that she was being taken to California against her will. The family contacted us and so we started the process of looking for her,” Vainuku said.

Macha’s car was spotted near I-15 near the Timpanogos Highway in Lehi by the Utah Highway Patrol. The case was then turned over to West Valley City Police.

“When our detectives got there, they were able to recover some evidence that indicated he did intend to take her back across state lines,” Vainuku said.

Police said thankfully the woman was not hurt.

“We’re grateful that she’s able to contact her family,” Vainuku said. “And they were able to recognize the severity of the situation to get in touch with police immediately.”

Documents also state detectives also found three permanent residency cards and three social security cards. Homeland Security Investigators determined they were fake. Investigators also determined Macha was in the United States on an expired visa.

Documents state Macha allegedly told police that he could not live without his girlfriend adding that if he were to be released, he would likely kidnap her again.

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California man arrested for allegedly kidnapping girlfriend