Grandfather says Holladay woman was not kidnapped

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The couple accused of kidnapping their 19-year-old daughter is headed back to Utah. Police found the daughter safe at her parents' home in Texas Tuesday morning.

Despite the fact that law enforcement officials launched an all-out search for Danielle Alonso, her grandfather, who lives in San Antonio, Texas, says she was never kidnapped.

"To me, it sounded like he was very surprised, very surprised," Arturo Alonso said.

He says that was his son's reaction to allegations he kidnapped his own daughter. "He's been an excellent son, the same way he's an excellent father," Arturo said.

Grandfather says Holladay woman was not kidnapped

On a welfare check, police found 19-year-old Danielle Alonso asleep Tuesday morning at her parents' home in Rockport, Texas. Officers say there were no signs of a crime.

"She was very calm; no indicators whatsoever that she was being held against her will," said Rockport police Commander Mark Cory.

Officers talked to Danielle in the presence of her mother, never alone. "She looked fine, like nothing was wrong with her," Cory said. "She was very calm, no indicators whatsoever that she was being held against her will."

Since they had no arrest warrant and everything looked fine, they left 10 minutes later.

Salt Lake County authorities issued an endangered person advisory for Danielle after her parents, Daniel and Gloria Arturo, took her from her apartment in Holladay.

On Sunday, Danielle told deputies her parents were upset over her recent conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She told them she was scared of her father and that he had abused her before.

Danielle's grandfather doesn't believe it. "I don't think he would ever hurt his wife or his daughters. He's not the type," Arturo said.

He thinks someone convinced Danielle to stay in Utah. He says her parents only became concerned when she didn't go back to Texas for a visit with her sister, who also goes to school in Utah.

Arturo says his son is a good father who always provided for his three daughters. "Very attentive, respectful; I don't know how she got involved in something like this," Arturo said.

Salt Lake County detectives are holding off on obtaining any arrest warrants or seeking any charges for now. "It doesn't mean that there may not be charges in the future, but we want to make sure the case is investigated properly and get a proper victim statement before we decide on any charges," said Lt. Don Hutson, spokesman for the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Local investigators went to Texas Tuesday to interview Danielle. Authorities say her parents are coming back to Utah to meet with prosecutors here and to tell their side of the story.


This story compiled with contributions from Sandra Yi, Nicole Gonzales, Marc Giauque and Andrew Adams.

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