The teen, according to the probable cause statement, was living with her father in the St. George area when she went online in the spring of 2016 to post messages about her depression. She wanted someone to take her away from home, and in response, Burk allegedly contacted her, promising that she’d be happy with him.
Burk, now 38, and the girl — who claimed she was 18 — allegedly communicated several times online before making arrangements to meet.
Prosecutors allege Burk told the teen he was 20, and that he would return her home after spending two days together at his house in Leeds, Utah.
Investigators allege that after the two interacted online, the teen confessed to Burk she wasn’t 18. To this, he allegedly responded, “Oh, even better,” the court documents contend.
When Burk showed up outside her home, he allegedly made his own confession: He was 37, and not 20. The two traveled to a bank, where he allegedly had her withdraw cash. They started driving towards Leeds, the probable cause statement alleges, which is about 30 minutes from St. George.
The teen realized after 45 minutes they were not going to Leeds, and asked Burk where they were headed.
“I lied. I live in Phoenix,” he allegedly responded.
The girl “asked if she would still be back in two days,” to which Burk allegedly said “that he was going to keep her as his ‘pet’ indefinitely,” according to the probable cause statement.
The teen considered jumping out of the vehicle, but told investigators she was afraid of Burk, and that “there were no stoplights because they were in the middle of nowhere.”
The girl allegedly told investigators that she asked to go home the second night of her captivity, and “Burk ‘flipped out’ and hit [her]. Burk told [her] she was ‘his little pet’ and ‘he was keeping her forever.’”
Police allege she threatened to call her father, and “Burk hit her again, slapped her head, and punched the right side of her face on her jaw.”
The next morning, “Burk tied [the girl] to his bed using rope” and allegedly told her “she was not free to leave and should just lie there until he got home from work,” the statement alleges.
The girl was eventually able to escape.
It was unclear Wednesday if Burk had retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf. He has not entered pleas to any of the charges against him.
Authorities did not comment on why it took nearly two years for criminal charges to be filed.