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Missing teen located, uncle arrested in West Valley

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WEST VALLEY CITY — A man was arrested late Thursday night after allegedly sexually assaulting and abducting his 13-year-old niece, officials said.

Police found the girl at approximately 11:45 p.m., according to West Valley Police Sgt. Mike Powell. She was found near 6300 West and 3600 South in the company of her uncle Luis Gomez Velasco, 41, who was arrested for investigation of child kidnapping, rape and aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

"It doesn't appear that it was an aggressive or egregious abduction," Powell said. "However, due to the circumstances surrounding the entire circumstances, we are going to pursue child kidnapping charges."

Powell said the girl's parents had reported her missing earlier Thursday night and she was believed to have been with Velasco in a white Hyundai Elantra. Investigators believed the suspect may have had plans to take the teen to Mexico.

Powell also said police have reason to believe that Velasco had engaged in inappropriate sexual activity with the girl, who is not old enough to give consent.

"It appears there has been some sexual abuse that has gone on for several years," Powell said.

He said police will pursue charges to their full extent against Velasco.

Contributing: Ashley Kewish


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