Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
SANTAQUIN, Utah County — "Somebody took us," the 16-year-old cried to the dispatcher.
On Monday, Santaquin police released the emotional 911 recording that two Bountiful girls made just minutes after escaping from three people who police say kidnapped them and held them hostage for 19 hours.
The girls, ages 16 and 17, were having a sleepover when they sneaked out to go for a walk about 2 a.m. Sept. 9. The girls and their parents have all asked that their names not be made public because of safety concerns.
While the teens were out, two men and a woman in an SUV approached the girls and offered them a ride. The girls refused. That's when the two men got out and forced the girls at knife point into their vehicle, the mother of the 16-year-old said.
The girls screamed, something police say they verified through witnesses in the area where the abduction allegedly happened.
The girls then had their wrists duct taped in front of them, duct tape placed over their mouths, and were put in the cargo area of the SUV. For nearly an entire day, the girls were driven to several undisclosed locations, the girls' mothers said.
We're standing right on Main Street. We need help.
They were able to escape 19 hours later when the 16-year-old managed to free herself from her bonds while the SUV was parked somewhere in Santaquin and the two men were out of the vehicle, the mothers said.
The girls opened the hatch of the SUV and ran. When they got to Main Street, they tried to flag down several vehicles because neither had a cellphone. One of the girls eventually pounded on the window of a car stopped at a red light and begged to use the driver's phone.
On Monday, through a Government Records Access and Management Act request made by the Deseret News, a copy of the 911 recording was released.
During the five-minute call, the distraught and panicked 16-year-old can be heard crying and was so upset that much of what she tried to tell the emergency dispatcher was incomprehensible.
When the dispatcher asked where the girls were, she replied, "I don't know. We need help. We need help.
"We're standing right on Main Street. We need help," the girl cried.
The dispatcher attempted several times to have the girl give her an exact address while telling her to calm down.
"I need to know the address where you are or we can't help you," the dispatcher said.
As the upset teen unsuccessfully tried to collect herself, she told the dispatcher, "They took us in their car," and later, "We got out of the car," when trying to explain that they had escaped just 10 minutes earlier.
"I don't know. I don't know where they are," she said of her alleged captors.
A little over four minutes later, an officer arrived at the scene.
The girls' mothers on Sunday told KSL that their daughters are still too traumatized to go anywhere by themselves. They are also pleading for anyone who might have seen something or saw the girls running that night to call police.
Although the mothers know there has been skepticism about whether the girls' story of being abducted off the street at knife point in Bountiful and being held hostage for 19 hours before escaping is real, they say the girls did not make up their story.
Likewise, Bountiful police Monday reaffirmed they believe the girls are telling the truth. All of the evidence provided so far has checked out, said Lt. Dave Edwards.
A possible motive for the kidnappings was unknown Monday.
One of the male suspects was described as white, in his early to mid-20s, with light brown hair, slender build and a tattoo on his left arm. The only description of the second man given was he was white, taller, in his early to mid-30s and had dark brown hair. The woman was between 25 and 35 years old, had long blond hair and was heavy-set. Their vehicle was a red SUV of an unknown make or model.
Anyone who may have witnessed the girls' abduction or escape, or who has information about the alleged kidnapping, is asked to call Bountiful police at 801-298-6000.