PROVO — Police say a Provo woman escaped from kidnappers Saturday night by jumping out of a car that was going 40 mph.

The woman, 24, had sold a man $50 worth of drugs Saturday night, but he later realized they were bad and came to her house to confront her, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in 4th District Court.

The 25-year-old man drove her around Provo for about two hours, putting a short-barreled shotgun to her head and threatening to kill her, according to the affidavit. A male passenger in the car also made threatening comments, the affidavit said.

The woman told police she begged for her life, but the men said they were going to take her to the lake and kill her.

"She told me that he said, 'If you jump out of this car or try to get away, we'll go kill your family,"' said Provo police detective Drew Hubbard. "I think she was concerned about her family, about retaliation."

So when the woman saw a police car heading the opposite way near 940 W. Center, she jumped out of the moving car, screaming as she tumbled onto the road, according to the affidavit.

Just after midnight, witnesses said they saw her fall and heard her scream that the man had a gun, Hubbard said. So the witnesses gave her a ride and were able to catch up with the officer who had just passed by.

The woman was taken to the emergency room with a few scrapes, but the men sped off.

She gave police a description of the car and the two men, including details that she left her Marlboro cigarettes in the back seat and the men kept her cell phone, according to the affidavit.

The woman said she met the man who was the driver through another friend. Police interviewed that person and got the man's name and number. Matching that with a picture, the woman was able to identify her captor from a photo lineup, according to the affidavit.

The man is a martial-arts fighter, Hubbard said, and is quite large and intimidating, though he does not have an extensive criminal background.

Hubbard said he called the man to ask about the woman's missing cell phone, which he denied knowing anything about, but agreed to come to the police station.

Once there, the man also denied knowing the woman's friend, or anything about a woman jumping out of his car the night before.

However, the man's wife told police that her husband did know that male friend because they had gone to school together. She also gave police permission to search their car, according to the affidavit.

Inside the car police found a large knife and a pack of Marlboro cigarettes in the back, according to the affidavit. Police are still looking for the gun and the woman's cell phone, Hubbard said.

The man told police he went to a party in Provo Saturday night, then went home.

However, Orem police reported running into the man and four other friends — including the other man, who is alleged to have been a passenger when the woman was in the car — just before 3 a.m. in Orem, which the man who was the driver denied as well.

The driver was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of aggravated kidnapping on $10,000 cash or bond bail.

Police have identified the passenger, who they believe shares the same amount of culpability, and are working to locate him, Hubbard said.


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