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California man arrested for allegedly kidnapping his girlfriend

WEST VALLEY CITY A California man is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail for allegedly kidnapping his girlfriend over the weekend.

27-year-old Jhony Efrain Sanchez Macha is accused of kidnapping and six counts of possession of forged documents.

According to West Valley City police, Macha and the 21-year-old female victim had a romantic relationship while they both lived in California.

The victim now lives in Utah.

“According to the victim, the suspect came to Utah and essentially deceived her into getting into his vehicle,” said Roxeanne Vainuku, spokeswoman for the West Valley City Police Department.

Victim contacted her family

Charging documents state that Macha did not stop to let the victim out of the car. The victim was able to contact his family and send photos of his whereabouts during the ride.

“The woman was able to reach her family and tell them that she was taken to California against her will. The family contacted us and we began searching for her,” Vainuku said.

Macha's car was spotted by the Utah Highway Patrol off I-15 near Timpanogos Highway in Lehi. The case was then turned over to West Valley City Police.

“When our investigators got there, they were able to find evidence that he actually intended to bring her back across the state border,” Vainuku said.

Police said that fortunately the woman was not injured.

“We are grateful that she was able to contact her family,” said Vainuku. “And they recognized the seriousness of the situation and were able to contact the police immediately.”

The documents also show that investigators found three permanent resident cards and three social security cards. Department of Homeland Security investigators concluded that these were fake. Investigators also concluded that Macha was in the United States on an expired visa.

The documents show that Macha allegedly told police he could not live without his girlfriend, adding that he would likely kidnap her again if he was released.

Anna Harden

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