Weld County Arrests Stepfather for Kidnapping Stepson
A 37-year-old Greeley man has been arrested on kidnapping charges after police connected him to a 14-year-old boy who had ran away from home over the weekend.
In a press release from the Weld County Sheriff's Office, deputies say 14-year-old Aaron Faulkner left his home near Windsor, where he was living with his uncle, around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 29. Upon leaving, he stole a red 2010 Honda ATV from the property.
Deputies believed Faulkner ran away to go live with his biological mother in Greeley. It's believed he spent Sunday night at a friend's house and was then picked up by his stepfather, Vance Grafel, on Monday morning.
Tips from the community led deputies to their first breakthrough in finding Faulkner, as they were able to locate the red ATV in a field near the intersection of 35th Avenue and O Street in Greeley on Monday.
From there, deputies tracked Grafel digitally to a Heritage Inn, located at 3301 W. Service Road, in Evans. Upon contacting Grafel at the hotel, he told police that Faulkner was not there. Furthermore, Grafel let authorities know that he would not allow his stepson to return to the uncle's house, nor would he provide anyone with the boy's current location.
Grafel was subsequently booked into the Weld County Jail on suspicion of one count each of second-degree kidnapping, harboring a minor, and obstructing government operations.
Evans police ultimately found Faulkner when he returned to the Heritage Inn around 9 p.m. on Monday night.
Anyone with additional information about this case should call Detective Jeff Meadows at 970-400-2854.