Bizarre kidnapping of Utah County teen ends with 6 arrests

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Editor's note: At the time of this writing, there were only five mug shots available for those arrested. A sixth individual was involved, but a mug shot was not immediately available. OREM — Utah County sheriff's deputies spent all day and night Sunday sorting through the details of a bizarre kidnapping scenario that stretched across a large area of the county.

Ultimately, six people, including one juvenile, were arrested in connection with the investigation. The man who allegedly orchestrated the kidnapping ended up being stabbed multiple times by friends of the victim, according to police.

The wild scenario began about 2 a.m. Sunday when police say Yanio Bladimir Palomo, 42, held a 17-year-old girl, an acquaintance, against her will while he sent three others out to collect on a debt, said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon. She was reportedly being held "as collateral," according to a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court.

One of the three men ordered to collect the debt, however, tricked the other two into driving to a home where one of the girl's relatives lived, the affidavit states. Christian Ivan Gutierrez, 27, and at least one other person went back to where Palomo was at and stabbed Palomo multiple times, Cannon said.

The girl, however, was no longer at that location. She was being held captive in a vehicle that drove around Utah County with at least five suspects for five or six hours, Cannon said.

While in the car, the girl was "forced to sit on the rear floor of the passenger compartment with a pillow over her head," a police affidavit states.

The suspects then showed the girl a Taser and told her they would use it on her if needed, according to the report. She was taken to several locations from Payson to Pleasant Grove.

But by 7 a.m., the suspects decided to let her go. She was eventually released in Vineyard, near Geneva Road and I-15, Cannon said.

It was about that same time that Provo police were first informed of a possible kidnapping, Cannon said.

About 40 minutes later, a vehicle was found abandoned in a canal west of Payson and Spanish Fork. Detectives learned the vehicle was stolen in the incident involving the missing girl, Cannon said.

About 10 a.m., police were called to an area about a block away from Nielsen's Grove Park in Orem, near 300 West and 2000 South, where they found Palomo. He was bleeding heavily but was still conscious and could have called 911 if he wanted to, Cannon said. But he didn't. He was discovered by a person who was going to work in the area. Detectives estimate Palomo had been bleeding for four or five hours before paramedics were called.

Up until 4 p.m., investigators still weren't sure if a kidnapping had actually taken place or not. But by late Sunday afternoon, detectives found the 17-year-old.

As of Monday, three people had been arrested in connection with the alleged kidnapping and police were looking for at least one other person.

One person was arrested for investigation of the stabbing, and investigators were looking for at least one other on Monday.

A teenage boy who allegedly ditched a stolen truck that was also used at some point during the morning was also arrested.

Palomo, 42, the stabbing victim, was arrested on two outstanding warrants. Brandon William Warrilow, 20, was arrested for investigation of aggravated kidnapping. Gutierrez was arrested for investigation of aggravated assault. Chantelle Nicole Powelson, 18, and Sharcee Lachelle DiStefano, 21, were arrested for investigation of aggravated kidnapping. A 17-year-old boy was also booked into the Slate Canyon Youth Detention Center for investigation of evidence tampering and obstruction of justice. All of the suspects live in Orem or Provo, Cannon said.

Cannon said those already arrested could face more charges as more information is uncovered.

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Pat Reavy


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