Woman kidnapped in Michigan found over a week later in Utah, police say

A man has been arrested in Utah after police say he kidnapped a woman in Michigan who had a protective order against him.

A man has been arrested in Utah after police say he kidnapped a woman in Michigan who had a protective order against him. (Spaxiax, Shutterstock)


Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

GREEN RIVER, Emery County — A man with several warrants out for his arrest in the Midwest was arrested last week and accused of holding a woman against her will for over a week starting in Michigan, until they were found in Utah.

Richard Lyneal Phillips, 38, was booked into the Emery County Jail for investigation of kidnapping, violating a protective order, marijuana possession, driving with a suspended license and giving false information to police.

On June 20, the Utah Highway Patrol started looking for a vehicle believed to be heading east on I-70 after a woman left a note in a gas station in the Salina area "stating she was be held against her will," according to a police booking affidavit.

A trooper spotted the vehicle at a gas station outside of Green River. After making contact with the driver, Phillips, the trooper asked him to pull forward to another location. Phillips was about to flee before being blocked by an Emery County sheriff's deputy who arrived on scene, the affidavit states.

"The driver exited his vehicle, at which point he was taken into custody after a brief standoff with the deputy pointing his Taser at the suspect and myself handcuffing him," according to the affidavit.

A "very emotional" woman then got out of the car. Investigators learned that while Phillips and the woman were at the gas station near Green River, the woman had given another note to another woman in the restroom asking her to contact her family and police, the arrest report states.

As investigators sorted through what was happening, they learned that the woman "was being held against her will, and she had been the victim of assaults. The suspect was found to be driving on a suspended license from Michigan. The driver had multiple warrants with one being from Ohio showing full extradition" for robbery, assault and strangulation, according to the affidavit.

The woman told police that she used to be in a relationship with Phillips but now has a protective order against him. On June 10, she says she was getting into her car in Clinton Township, Michigan, when Phillips approached her and "told her to drive him wherever he wanted to go. The victim knew that the male suspect was currently dodging law enforcement due to an active warrant for his arrest," the affidavit states.

She says they then drove to Denver, where she was assaulted in a hotel room, according to the affidavit.

"The victim told me she contacted police, but when they arrived, (Phillips) had fled the scene with all her belongings in the vehicle. (He) returned to the hotel after police left, and the victim was again trapped by him. The two of them then drove to Las Vegas, where they stayed for a couple days," according to the affidavit.

The woman says she was again assaulted in Las Vegas by Phillips, and she was able to call police again, but Phillips once again avoided arrest, according to police. They then drove to Salt Lake City and back to Las Vegas before being stopped near Green River, the affidavit states.

"(Phillips) kept the victim's phone from the victim and would only allow the victim to use it in (his) presence, to contact the victim's children on rare occasions," the arrest report says. "The victim also disclosed contacting law enforcement 32 times since November of last year to report (Phillips was) at her residence. The reports included assaulting her, her children, and her children's friends. The victim told me that only two of the 32 times police were able to locate (Phillips)."

Most recent Police & Courts stories

Related topics

UtahPolice & CourtsEastern Utah
Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

STAY IN THE KNOW

Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast