Colorado police arrest 2 suspects in Utah kidnap case

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SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah (AP) — Two men sought on warrants accusing them of kidnapping and exploiting a 70-year-old man with Parkinson's disease have been arrested in Colorado.

Authorities said Aaron Gibbs and Loran Sant were tracked down to a trailer about 10 miles from the Utah border in southwestern Colorado.

Investigators said they used cellphones to locate the suspects on April 22. They were arrested and are awaiting extradition to Utah.

A person living near the Utah-Colorado border recognized Gibbs and Sant from a news report and notified authorities.

Gibbs is charged with kidnapping and exploitation of a vulnerable adult and two counts of forgery. Sant is charged with kidnapping and exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Also arrested was Lindsey Kerr, who is accused by Colorado authorities of trying to hide the two men. She is charged with being an accessory to a crime, false reporting and obstructing a police officer.

Utah authorities said Gibbs was homeless in 2012 and agreed to move in with the unidentified man. Gibbs was to care for the man in exchange for room and board, but brought in three friends, including Sant, according to court documents obtained by the Deseret News ( ).

South Salt Lake Police Sgt. Gary Keller said Thursday that the suspects took property from the man and "basically cleaned him out."

The two men are accused of keeping the man in his room for up to a day at a time without food and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of possessions.

Authorities said the man was afraid to report them to police and feared he would be killed if he called for help. According to an affidavit, Sant told the man he would be shot and someone would throw acid on him if he went to police.

Warrants were issued in early April, nearly two years after South Salt Lake police submitted the case to the Salt Lake County district attorney's office for review. Police said the suspects and the victim gave conflicting accounts about whether he had signed over his possessions voluntarily to Gibbs and Sant in exchange for them working as his live-in assistants.

Family members eventually arranged for the victim to move to a retirement home.

Attorneys for the two men did not return phone calls seeking comment on Thursday. Court officials said Kerr did not have an attorney.


Information from: Deseret News,

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