Man accused of keeping 17-year-old Utah girl as his ‘pet’

Crime

ST. GEORGE (News4Utah) – A Phoenix man faces human trafficking charges in Utah after police say he kidnapped a girl in St. George to keep as his pet. 

Police say the girl met the man online. He told her he lived 30 minutes away, and if they met he would bring her home in a couple of days.

Instead, charging documents state he took her to Arizona, tied her up, assaulted her, and told her repeatedly she was his pet. 

“… Realized they weren’t going where he said. When she asked if he was going to bring her home within the time needed, he told her no,” said Lona Trombley with St George Police.

The alleged kidnapping happened in St. George in June 2017.

Raymond Burk, 37, was arrested and charged in Arizona after, police say, the victim was able to access a phone and message a friend where she was.

On Tuesday Burk was also charged with human trafficking of a child and aggravated kidnapping in Utah. 

“Utah is able to place our charges on this suspect because it’s important that these people who may want to do these criminal thing to our children know that there are serious consequences and they will be pursued,” said Trombley.

Charging documents state Burk tied the teen to a bed while he went to work, sexually and physically abused her, and when she asked to go home he replied she was ‘his little pet’ and was ‘keeping her forever’.

“Know what your children are doing, and if they are under 18 they are children. Be on their social media. Check their phones. Check any device they have that has internet connection, and know what they are doing, and who they are talking to,” said Trombley.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office is coordinating prosecution with authorities in Arizona where Burk remains in custody and is being held on a $250,000 cash only bond.

Reports of Human Trafficking in our state can be reported to the Utah Trafficking in Persons Task Force Tip Line at 801-200-3443

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