SALT LAKE CITY – Police investigating the alleged kidnapping of a 13-year-old Utah girl have arrested a 55-year-old man.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder says Angel Garcia of Draper was booked Wednesday night on suspicion of child kidnapping, harboring a runaway, obstructing justice and endangering a child.
Garcia insists he's innocent and has told police that Brooklyn Gittins ran away from her home in suburban Herriman and he picked her up after she called him.
Gittins' disappearance last week prompted authorities and about 1,000 volunteers to conduct a two-day search. The teen crawled out of her bedroom window and left on her own accord on Jan. 8 but was thought to be without her shoes or a coat in chilly weather.
Winder told KSL-TV the question of whether the teen stayed with Garcia willingly is irrelevant. He says that because of her age, she's considered a victim.