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Man Arrested in Kidnapping of Mapleton Boy

Man Arrested in Kidnapping of Mapleton Boy

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MAPLETON, Utah (AP) -- An Orem man has allegedly confessed to kidnapping a 5-year-old Mapleton boy, Utah County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.

Robert Allen Kartchner, 20, has been arrested for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted aggravated assault for the Thursday incident, Cannon said.

Even though the boy had stab wounds, he was apparently not seriously injured, Cannon said. The boy, whose identity has not been released, was kept overnight in the hospital and was to be released to his parents Friday.

Police still did not know a motive in the kidnapping, but Cannon said there were no signs of sexual abuse on the child.

"He wasn't particularly forthcoming beyond admitting he had done this," Cannon said of the interview police had with Kartchner. "It's a head-shaker, what explanation can a person possibly give for this?"

The boy disappeared after school Thursday in the five blocks between his elementary school and his home.

He was found gagged and bound by black electrical tape about four hours later by a man working in the Diamond Fork area of Spanish Canyon, about 15 miles from Mapleton. The boy's red T-shirt also had been ripped.

Police did not immediately know how the boy got away.

"We don't know if he escaped or if he was left there," Cannon said.

However, he had told police his abductor had driven a green pickup.

Cannon said that information became very useful when deputies stationed to secure the crime scene overnight saw a similar pickup drive through the canyon about 12:45 a.m. Friday.

Officers stopped the driver, and based on items they saw inside the truck, took Kartchner to the sheriff's office for further interviews.

Cannon declined to say what officers saw inside the truck until after a search warrant was granted by a judge. Police also sought another search warrant in the case, but Cannon wouldn't say what or where it sought permission to search.

Sheriff Jim Tracy said the boy has been an excellent witness, and it was his description of the abductor and his vehicle that led to the arrest.

Kartchner has no known criminal history, Tracy said.

He is being held at the Utah County Jail pending a bail hearing and arraignment, which might not be held until early next week, Cannon said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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