Crime

David Calderon won't face charges (yet) in alleged kidnapping of Johnstown teen

Update: A surprising twist in the story of a once-missing Johnstown teen who said she'd been kidnapped and held against her will.

David Calderon, the 38-year-old man busted in connection with the case, is not being charged with a crime at this time -- although he's not entirely off the hook.

As we've reported, the sixteen year old girl went missing on the evening of Tuesday, January 22. Text and Facebook messages sent at the time said she was with someone named "Dave" and she was frightened. One note read, "Call police," and her loved ones did, precipitating a search that included a posting on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website.

Fortunately, the girl turned up again the following Thursday morning. She told authorities that Calderon had forced her into his car while she was in the parking lot of a local market.

During the next 36 hours or so, the teen claimed Calderon sexually assaulted her and said he was going to make her his queen. He also allegedly held her at gunpoint while taking her on drug runs.

How'd she get away? Initial reports suggested that one of Calderon's relatives suspected that he might be the culprit and told him, "If you have the girl, let her go." But the girl later told a local TV station that she'd sneaked away while he was asleep and went to a neighboring home, where she dialed 911.

Calderon's fierce mug shot certainly raised eyebrows, and his criminal record wasn't spotless; he'd been given a two-year deferred sentence in June for meth possession. But Johnstown police let it be known publicly that the teen was previously known to the department from past runaway scenarios, and Calderon's family publicly claimed that their loved one was being railroaded. Speaking to 9News, his sister said, "For this little girl to come in out of nowhere and do all this to hurt us in this way, when she has previous runaways? I don't get it."

Now comes the following statement from Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck's office. It reads in part, "Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck declined to immediately file criminal charges against David Calderon in connection with the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of a Johnstown teenager."

The "immediately" part of the sentence above is key. The release goes on to say, "While charges will not be filed at this time, the District Attorney emphasizes that the investigation remains active and that charges could still be filed at a later time."

Does this mean the DA is waiting for test results to come back that might corroborate the teen's story? Or does he suspect that the tale told by the young woman was meant to cover another runaway attempt? Buck's statement offers no additional details, but further action, or inaction, regarding the incident will speak volumes.

Continue to read our previous coverage of the David Calderon case, including photos and videos.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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