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Man, 18, Accused of Extortion in Case of Missing Utah Girl

November 21, 2002|From Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A grand jury indicted an 18-year-old man Wednesday for allegedly trying to extort $3 million by falsely claiming to be the kidnapper of Elizabeth A. Smart.

Walter Kenneth Holloway, of Charleston, S.C., allegedly sent more than three dozen e-mails claiming he was the kidnapper and demanding ransom.

Smart, 14, disappeared from her bedroom June 5. The case remains unsolved.

Holloway reportedly confessed that he kept up a regular correspondence with Salt Lake City police and the Smart family, threatening to hurt the girl and demanding ransom from her father.

He was arrested this month. The charge of interstate extortion carries a 20-year prison term and that of sending threatening communications carries a five-year sentence.

Attorney Lionel Lofton, who represented Holloway at a hearing in South Carolina, had said Holloway lives with his family, has a job cleaning a day-care center and has been schooled at home.

With the indictment in place, federal prosecutors say they will have the case moved to Utah.

The FBI found Holloway, who was using the screen name "Elizabethsmartkidnapper," by serving his Internet service provider with a subpoena for account information.

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