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David Lopez charged in Areli Osuna kidnap

David Lopez appeared in a photo shoot

A Texas man faces potentially significant time behind bars in the kidnapping of a 14-year-old Utah girl earlier this week.

Frank David Lopez20 years old, charged with one count of aggravated kidnapping in the incident that prompted a multi-state search and Warning AMBER on Tuesday, March 22, 2021.

As previously reported by Law & Crime14 years old Areli Esmeralda Arroyo Osuna was found safe later that same day in San Antonio. Authorities had previously assumed she was in serious danger and she was initially described as a fugitive.

Additionally, police said the girl abducted from the town of Magna, Utah is likely to be found in Texas or Mexico because the defendant may be from the Lone Star State and because both are believed to be traveling south. .

According to an arrest warrant and affidavit obtained by the Salt Lake City-based CBS affiliate KUTV, the Greater Salt Lake Unified Police Department shared information with the FBI’s San Antonio office about Lopez’s alleged whereabouts. Defendant was spotted walking with Osuna by members of the San Antonio Police Department and subsequently arrested.

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On the day the girl was found, law enforcement was holding her mother on the alleged kidnapper, declining to say whether the defendant was ultimately the perpetrator. Meanwhile, police shared information that Osuna was believed to have been last seen getting into an “older black Nissan Altima” that Lopez was driving.

Although few details are known about the alleged motive behind the girl’s abduction, authorities believe the two had an undisclosed online relationship and Lopez may have traveled from Texas to Utah with the purpose of picking up Osuna.

“[Osuna] unrelated to [Lopez]”Sergeant UPD Melody Cutler told the Salt Lake City-based Fox affiliate KSTU. “They met on social media a few months ago. He showed up in town and she left with him. Based on what we were able to find on social media, it looks like he’s from Utah, but again we’re not 100% sure about that.”

Cutler also took the occasion to warn about the potential dangers of overusing social media and distorting real-world perceptions and ultimately leading to real-world harm.

“We know there are kids out there who believe social media is their own business, but it’s a dangerous place,” she said. “In the end, it doesn’t matter – any social media site is a potential danger when communicating with people we don’t know. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok; all those sites. These predators are very good at grooming children and making them do things they wouldn’t normally do.”

The sergeant added that the local police force will send detectives to Texas to help them investigate.

Cutler added that the girls’ willingness to leave with the alleged defendant was belatedly because of a combination of coercion and intimidation. She added that two other people were already in the car by the time Osuna got inside, according to NBC affiliate KSL-TV based in Salt Lake City.

Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.

[featured image via Bexar County Sheriff’s Office; inline image via Utah AMBER Alert]

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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/suspect-charged-after-allegedly-kidnapping-14-year-old-girl-from-utah-and-taking-her-to-texas/ David Lopez charged in Areli Osuna kidnap

James Brien

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