Provo woman jailed on aggravated kidnapping charge after man calls sibling for help

PROVO, Utah — A woman was booked into jail and faces a charge of aggravated kidnapping after police say she threatened her boyfriend and held him against his will.

According to a statement of probable cause, officers were called to the area of 1555 North Canyon Road in Provo around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A man had called police to report his brother called for help, saying he was with some people who would not let him leave unless he paid them $100. Police responded and found the sibling in the passenger side of a vehicle with 36-year-old Vanessa L. Arnold of Provo.

Police separated the two and interviewed them, and the sibling told police he got involved with the woman while living on the street and when he was in need of help. He said the two were in an intimate relationship, but that Arnold had threatened to harm or kill him or his family.

He said these threats prevented him from leaving and that the woman was constantly following him and keeping him in her sight. He further claimed the woman had taken most of or all of his belongings, including his phone and wallet and that he was only able to call for help by borrowing her phone and pretending to call a relative to get more money.

Police observed injuries to the man that included red and bleeding scratches, raised swelling and redness, scratches and scarring at the back of his neck and a burn mark on his left arm. Police also noted the front of the man’s hair had recently been burnt.

The man told police the woman kept a shotgun in the car, but police ultimately determined it was a plastic weapon that looked somewhat realistic.

Arnold told police the pair were dating and that “the relationship between she and [Victim] was fine and that there were no problems,” according to the PC statement.

When police asked about the man’s injuries, she said they came from other women the man was involved with before changing her story to indicate they were self-inflicted as part of a ruse to keep her from going to court to secure custody of her children.

The woman said the man was free to go and had never been detained, but police noted the man seemed very afraid of her and didn’t want to speak with her or let her know any details about him or his family, citing the prior threats.

Police say Williams claimed the man had previously raped her, an incident police say had already been investigated, but said she stayed with the man because she was “being tricked by him”. She also told police she was pregnant with the man’s child, however tests conducted at a hospital for jail clearance indicated she was not actually pregnant.

Arnold was booked into jail on one count of aggravated kidnapping, which is a first-degree felony.

Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic violence. Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance. In an emergency, dial 911.