ST. GEORGE (News4Utah) – The Utah teen who was allegedly kidnapped by a man she met on social media spoke about her ordeal for the first time exclusively to News4Utah.
“I still think about what happened down in Arizona …. I have flashbacks to the moment where I was beaten, to where I was raped,” said Kiara Holm.
Holm was seventeen-years-old in June, living in St. George, when she got into the car of a man she met on the app ‘Whisper.’
Police say the man told Kiara he was 20-years-old, lived 30 minutes away, and would bring her home before her parents noticed she was gone.
Instead, charging documents state 37-year-old Raymond Burk took her to Arizona, tied her up, sexually and physically assaulted her, and told her she was his ‘little pet’ he was going to ‘keep forever’.
“I learned to just submit, to do whatever, because if I fought it would get worse,” said Holm.
Holm was listed as a runaway and says she was held by Burk for more than a week before she found a phone and messaged a friend for help.
“The moment that I reached out to my friend … that’s the moment I realized I wanted to live,” said Holm.
Holm, now 18, chose to speak with her mom and sister by her side because she wants others to find hope.
“Don’t give up and if you feel you’re at the end of your rope in your life, just tie a knot and hold on,” said Holm.
She has a message to other children who have been abused.
“Don’t think that just because someone is bigger than you, someone is controlling you, don’t think you don’t have a voice, because you do, and your voice is 10 times stronger than theirs,” said Holm.
Burk is charged in Utah with aggravated kidnapping and human trafficking.
“I’m grateful he is being charged and that he is locked up. He could go through ten deaths and it’s not going to add up to what he put me through. I forgive him, because I’ve learned you can’t move on in life if you don’t forgive people, no matter what they put you through,” said Holm.
Burk is being held in Arizona on a $250,000 cash only bond
View the video below for more of Kiara’s interview with News4Utah: