The crimes allegedly began after a Wichita registered sex offender lured a 16-year-old St. Louis girl through Facebook.
According to an affidavit filed in federal court, after he kidnapped her in St. Louis and drove her toward Wichita, she started to fear the worst.
To leave evidence, the document says, she started pulling out strands of her hair and dropping them to the rear floor of the car “in case he killed” her.
The ordeal is described in detail in an affidavit by a federal agent to support charges filed this week against Johnny Angel Vallejo, 49, of Wichita.
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Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall announced Thursday that Vallejo has been charged with one count of kidnapping a minor born in 1999 and one count of transporting a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activities.
At the time of the alleged crime, Vallejo was already a registered sex offender in Wichita, a result of being convicted of rape in 1995 in Finney County, records show. As part of the same Finney County case, he also has convictions for aggravated robbery and misdemeanor battery.
As of Thursday afternoon, Vallejo was being held in the Sedgwick County Jail. No bond amount had been set.
St. Louis to Wichita
Last Saturday, Wichita police said that authorities had tracked an abduction suspect from Missouri on Friday. Authorities arrested Vallejo and found a 16-year-old girl, Wichita police said.
The affidavit, filed by a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, spells out how the case unfolded:
On Friday, the Kansas Highway Patrol was told of a possible kidnapping of a juvenile. The federal affidavit doesn’t give the juvenile’s gender or age, but Wichita police have said that the alleged victim is a 16-year-old girl.
The teen was supposedly traveling south on the Kansas Turnpike. The Highway Patrol had little information: only a physical description of the girl and the clothes she wore when last seen Friday morning in the St. Louis area.
The teen’s cell phone was being “pinged.” The cellular service at times located the phone.
Also, she was sending text messages to people in the St. Louis area saying she “was afraid and wanted to escape” and that she thought she had been abducted as a part of a human-trafficking organization, the affidavit says.
Around 2:40 p.m. Friday, the pings showed that the phone had moved to a residential area in Wichita near George Washington Boulevard and Rivera Street. The phone “went dead.”
Highway Patrol units converged, and troopers found a car with a certain license plate at 1207 S. George Washington Blvd. Investigation showed that a car with the same plate had been photographed going south about an hour earlier at a spot 60 miles north of Wichita.
As troopers got information on the license plate, Vallejo exited the house and approached a trooper, the affidavit says. He gave troopers permission to enter his home and look for people inside, it says. But no one was there.
Vallejo said he had picked up someone at an El Dorado truck stop, saying the person was trying to get to her mother in Oklahoma City. He said he took the person to the Wichita bus station, the document says.
Later, authorities arrested Vallejo and found that he had $6,231 with him.
As the investigation continued, the Highway Patrol received a report of a “distraught juvenile” at the Bionic Burger at 3257 E. Harry – a half mile from Vallejo’s house.
The Highway Patrol identified the juvenile as being the “juvenile victim” who had been with Vallejo.
Investigators noticed that the teen’s shirt was stretched, her undergarments torn. She was crying, “hysterical.”
After a short time, she described what happened to her to investigators with the Exploited and Missing Child Unit.
According to the affidavit, she said she met Vallejo online through Facebook and that he approached her. The online conversation had begun about a week and a half earlier.
The conversation quickly became sexual. The juvenile said that Vallejo knew she was a minor because they discussed her age.
On Aug. 14, Vallejo met her in St. Louis, the document says. He allegedly took her to a mall and bought her clothing, brought her to a Mexican restaurant and then to a Motel 6, where he rented a room “and left the door open” so she could enter.
They had “forced sexual contact” at the motel, the affidavit says.
He dropped her off around 11 p.m. and traveled back to Kansas, it says.
The two kept chatting through Facebook and messaging on her cell phone for the next four days. He convinced her that she should leave her family and that he would care for her, the document says, adding, “there were conversations about prostitution and money.”
Fearing for her life
On Aug. 18, the affidavit says, Vallejo wired her $240 to buy a bus ticket, but she couldn’t take a bus because of her age.
The next day, it says, Vallejo drove to St. Louis and picked her up at 7:45 a.m. at school. He was driving a maroon 2004 Honda Accord – one of seven vehicles listed for him on the Kansas sex offender registry.
The teen told investigators that she was upset with her family and considered leaving but “had no idea that Vallejo was ‘crazy.’ ”
He was nice at first. But about halfway through the drive, he “became aggressive both verbally and physically,” the affidavit says.
When she told him she no longer wanted to go with him, “Vallejo grabbed (her) arm and pulled (her) hair” in the car, the affidavit says. When she spotted a police car, he told her to get into the back seat and lie down.
The teen began to pull out some of her hair and put it on the floor of the car “in case he killed” her, it says.
Later, investigators searched the rear floor of the car and found hair similar to hers.
The girl also told investigators that she left a note in a Pizza Hut bathroom, maybe in Ottawa. She left a note in her back pack, “stating if (she) was found dead then Vallejo was the person who killed (her).”
She said that Vallejo had given her drugs from an unlabeled pill bottle left in the car.
Vallejo repeatedly threatened to have others find her and hurt her if she left him, and told her that he knew her home address, the document said.
He said he wanted to take her to Mexico and asked whether she wanted him to be her “pimp,” she said. He also allegedly showed her a photo of a tattoo that he would have put on her.
At his house in Wichita, she alleged, he took her to his room in the basement and forced her to have sexual intercourse.
If Vallejo is convicted, he would face up to life in federal prison on the kidnapping charge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He would face at least 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the transportation charge.
Contributing: Gabriella Dunn of The Eagle