Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Sam Penrod ReportingSandy police are still looking for a 15-year old girl and the 38-year old man she ran away with. While police believe the girl went willingly with the suspect, Christopher Speaks, they say because of her age, kidnapping charges will be filed against him.
Detectives now believe the man and girl are in the Denver, Colorado area and are still together, apparently trying to hide from authorities. The FBI is now involved in the search to get this teenage girl returned home.
As 15-year old Crystal Leslie was dropped off for summer school at Valley High School last Friday, police say she instead ran away with a 38-year old man, her former neighbor.
Christi Wigginton, Crystal’s Aunt: "There is a relationship going on, but he is an adult. She is a minor. She is only 15. It is illegal. It’s against the law.
Police say surveillance video from an ATM machine shows the girl and Christopher Speaks using a bankcard stolen from the girl's aunt. Detectives now believe the two are in the Denver area. It is also believed the two have colored their hair to alter their appearance.
Sgt. Michelle Burnette, Sandy Police Dept.: “We believe she is doing well. This is not a good environment or position for her to be in, and so obviously we still feel it is an immediate action to get her back here and get Christopher arrested.”
Speaks’ estranged wife told Eyewitness News today her husband was persuaded by the girl's family to be a "substitute father" to the girl. That's when she says an illegal relationship began. Speaks is apparently contacting people, including the KSL Newsroom, trying to convince others he has done nothing wrong.
Sgt. Burnette: "We do understand that he thinks this is a big misunderstanding, but the only audience he should be dealing with at this point is the police.”
Sandy police are asking for anyone with information on the whereabouts of the man and girl to contact them. No Amber alert is being posted since the girl is believed to have willingly gone with the suspect and is not in any imminent danger.