St. George man charged with kidnapping across state lines

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ST. GEORGE (News4Utah) – A St. George man is charged with kidnapping after he left the country with a 14-year-old girl and her parents unaware. 

Police say it was a romantic relationship between 21-year-old Brayan Zelaya-Lopez and a 14-year-old victim that was discovered only when the parents checked the girls electronic devices.

Charging documents state the Zelaya-Lopez continued to speak to the girl against  parent’s wishes and made the plans to take her to El Salvador until she turned 18.

St. George police made contact with Zelaya-Lopez and the victim in El Salvador. They returned to St. George.

Police say it was because parents had checked their daughter’s internet activity, they knew she could be with Zelaya-Lopez.

“If they hadn’t been doing that it’s a very good possibility that we would have not had any idea where she was at, or who she was with. So again, we always encourage parents to monitor your children’s cell phones, go through them,” said Lona Trombley with St. George Police. 

Zelaya -Lopez was arrested Tuesday, charged with kidnapping across state lines. 

Charging documents state  Zelaya-Lopez admitted to having an intimate relationship with the teen.

The investigation is still ongoing, and additional charges could be filed. 

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