News / Utah / 

Utahn Kidnapped in Iraq Speaks Out for First Time

Utahn Kidnapped in Iraq Speaks Out for First Time

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Randall Jeppesen, KSL NewsradioTo listen to the full interview, click on the audio link to the right.

The Utahn kidnapped for over a week in Iraq is speaking out for the first time.

Will Van Wagenen was in Iraq working for a humanitarian group when the car he was in was stopped at a checkpoint. A gunman got in and told them to drive into the desert.

Will Van Wagenen, Kidnapped Civilian: "Maybe a minute of driving out into the desert, that's when we realized that, oh boy, I think we've got a big problem here. That's when I started getting scared and nervous."

Van Wagenen says he was taken to a house where he spent the next nine days in a room with a guard constantly at his side. He says trying to escape was not an option.

Will Van Wagenen, Kidnapped Civilian: "I'd think about ways to do it, but in the end I just thought it'd be too dangerous."

Van Wagenen says he was never mistreated. He says one night they put him in a car with another man and was told to drive in a direction toward a city. That's when he realized he was free.

Since being released he has no plans of going back to Iraq.

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast