When a 17-year-old Utah girl posted online messages saying she was depressed and wanted someone to pick her up, a 20-year-old named “Carter” quickly responded.
But Utah prosecutors say “Carter” turned out to be Raymond Burk, 38, who abducted the girl and held her for a week at his Phoenix, Ariz., home as his “pet,” according to KSL. Burk was charged Monday with aggravated kidnapping and human trafficking in Utah in the June 2016 incident.
The girl was staying with her father in St. George, Utah, when she posted the comments about being depressed to an online application. Court documents say Burk, posing as Carter, offered to bring her to his supposed home in a nearby town for two days, KSL reported. He told her “he would take away her depression and she would be happy with him.”
The girl initially told Burk she was 18, but later admitted she was 17. “Oh, even better,” he replied. Prosecutors say that on June 2, 2016, Burk picked the 17-year-old up at her home, but after about 45 minutes on the road she realized they were not heading to Leeds, Utah, where Burk had claimed to live, according to KSL. “I lied,” court documents say he told her. “I live in Phoenix.”
Court documents say Burk then told her “he was going to keep her as his ‘pet’ indefinitely,” reported KUTV.
Prosecutors say Burk held the 17-year-old against her will at his Phoenix home for over a week and sexually assaulted her several times, reported KUTV. She told authorities that when she told Burk she wanted to go home, he “flipped out” and hit her. Court documents say Burk told her she was “his little pet” and “he was keeping her forever.”
He also tied her to his bed with a rope and beat her, authorities told KSTU.
The teen eventually escaped by acquiring a cellphone belonging to a friend of Burk, reported KSTU. She messaged a friend on social media seeking help, reported The Arizona Republic, and the friend notified police.
But when Phoenix police came to Burk’s home, she was too frightened to answer the door, reported the publication. Officers later cornered the pair at Scottsdale Fashion Square, where Burk admitted to having sexual contact with the girl and taking nude photos of her, The Arizona Republic reported. He was arrested on suspicion of five counts of sexual conduct with a minor, one count of aggravated assault and one count of kidnapping, police said.