Thursday, Debra Hendricks publicly called on Wasatch Front residents to help police find the man who assaulted her daughter more than a year ago.
A day later police say she was ecstatic that her persistence and determination had paid off.Police are also thanking the media for being instrumental in the arrest of Bryan Warner, 33, Murray, for investigation of the Feb. 27, 1997, attempted kidnapping of Hendricks' 13-year-old daughter.
Thursday night, 17 minutes after local news stations broadcasted a clip of the suspect caught on a convenience store surveillance camera, Tooele resident Mathew Myers called police saying he knew the man on the videotape, said West Valley police Lt. Charles Illsley.
Myers had worked with Warner over a period of about 8 months at a South Salt Lake printing company until Warner was fired about a year ago, he said. Thursday night he was lying in bed when the broadcast caught his ear.
"It shocked me. It terrified me, so I immediately jumped up and called police," he said. "We worked side by side. He was always dropping out on parole busts."
During smoke breaks, Myers had learned Warner was on parole for a 1987 sexual assault conviction and a 1989 theft conviction.
At the same time Myers saw Warner on TV, Department of Corrections Adult Parole and Probation officer Kirk Moncref recognized him as a parolee, Illsley said.
At 1:30 a.m. Friday, Moncref and four other officers knocked on Warner's apartment, 690 E. Brittany Drive (4652 South). Warner was taken back to the Utah State Prison for investigation of attempted aggravated kidnapping.
At about 7:30 p.m., Warner confessed to the attempted kidnapping of the 13-year-old girl from in front of a 7-Eleven store, 2728 W. 3100 South, Illsley said.
Hendricks said she had sent the girl to the store on an errand. On the way back a man grabbed her, forced her into the back seat of his car and tried to strangle her.
The girl managed to get out of the car and contact police from a nearby gas station. Later the girl identified her attacker from a surveillance camera videotape at the 7-Eleven, but the man remained at large.
"This case went unsolved for 13 months, and within 17 minutes of a news broadcast the case was over with," Illsley said. "We're grateful to the media for running this story, and we're grateful to the victim's mother, who was patient and persistent."