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Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

'Hey, some crazy dude with a gun is making us buy stuff': Kidnapped missionaries had sent text for help

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Jan 15th, 2019 @ 9:40pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of forcing four missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to give him money — essentially kidnapping and robbing them at knife and gunpoint — now faces eight first-degree felonies.

Michael Jon Willie, 25, of West Jordan, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with four counts of aggravated kidnapping and four counts of aggravated robbery, all first-degree felonies.

On Friday, while at an apartment complex in West Jordan, Willie approached the four missionaries and pointed a gun at them, according to charging documents.

"All four missionaries were on edge from that point on," the charges state.

Willie demanded money, but the men told them they did not have any, according to the charges. The missionaries offered to go to a nearby gas station/convenience store and get money for him.

While walking to store, Willie told the men that he had "killed people, dealt drugs and ran guns," the charges state.

"The four victims believed that the suspect would have shot them because of his intoxication state if they did not comply," police wrote in a Salt Lake County Jail affidavit.

One missionary was able to send a text to his former landlord stating, "Hey, some crazy dude with a gun is making us buy stuff at the Exxon," according to court documents.

Willie is also accused of pulling a knife on the group and demanding beer, according to court documents.

The men bought food for Willie and got $20 cash back, the charges state. After exiting the gas station, the missionaries ran to their car and drove off, the charges state.

When police found Willie, he was carrying a $20 bill and a package of beef jerky from the Exxon, according to court documents. He was arrested.

Prosecutors have asked that Willie be held on $100,000 bail.

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