Vampire-fanged Utah trucker faces charges of kidnapping women

It is unknown if the fangs resembled this pair worn by this woman. Credit: Getty Images.
It is unknown if the fangs resembled this pair worn by this woman. Credit: Getty Images.

A Utah truck driver known for wearing vampire-fanged dentures is facing federal criminal charges over accusations he sexually abused two women who authorities said were held captive in the man’s semi-tractor trailer as he traveled nationwide.

Prosecutors, in a complaint filed in federal court in Utah this week, said that Timothy Jay Vafeades held a 19-year-old relative hostage between May and November 2013, forcing her into sex more than 100 times, beating her and threatening her life when she attempted to flee.

Vafeades, 54, was arrested in December in Minnesota after a weigh station officer saw bruises on the woman’s face and intervened. Another woman later came forward to say she, too, had been held and abused by the man.

Documents filed in U.S. District Court in Utah on Tuesday charge him with two counts each of kidnapping and transportation for illegal sexual activity, and one count of possession of child pornography and transportation of child pornography. The charges carry penalties that range from five years to life in prison.

The relative, who had moved to Salt Lake City from Florida to work for Vafeades’s Twilight Express Trucking, told FBI agents that he had filed down her teeth with a small Dremel drill and an exacto knife to fit her with a set of false teeth because he didn’t like her smile, according to an affidavit.

Vafeades, who was being held by authorities in Minnesota, appeared at a detention hearing on Wednesday in a North Dakota federal courtroom, said Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for Utah’s U.S. attorney said.

A judge ordered Vafeades detained, and he will be transported to Utah to stand trial, Rydalch said. A telephone message left for Vafeades’s court-appointed attorney in Fargo was not immediately returned on Thursday.

News reports about Vafeades’ arrest in Minnesota prompted a second woman to tell authorities she had also been kidnapped and held captive by Vafeades, after meeting the driver for dinner at a Salt Lake City truck stop in April 2012, court papers say.

The woman reported suffering repeated beatings with a belt, being forced into sex and threatened over a period of three months, and she unwillingly married him during a trip through Idaho, court papers say.

Vafeades also forced the woman to change her appearance by cutting and coloring her hair and filing down her teeth, court papers say. She said Vafeades told her she was his slave.

The woman was rescued by weigh station officers in Nebraska, who also noticed she was bruised. Vafeades was not arrested, but the incident was reported to authorities in Florida, where the woman said an assault occurred, court papers say. A battery charge against Vafeades is pending there, court papers say.

Both women told federal agents that Vafeades had warned them not to look at other men and threatened them with violence if they spoke to any other person. He also held their personal identification documents in his wallet and disabled their cell phones, court papers say.

Both women were also forced to watch child pornography; a search of the semi-trailer uncovered external hard drives which contained hundreds of images, according to police.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Television

'Game of Thrones' livens up Comic Con with…

By Piya Sinha-RoySAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Laughter and death did battle on Friday at HBO's "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic Con, one of the…

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.