IDAHO FALLS — A fourth suspect was arrested Tuesday for reportedly taking part in the June kidnapping and torture of a woman.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Austin Alverado assisted his co-defendants in torturing the victim who was tied to a chair and held captive for three days.
The affidavit states Alverado heated tools that Jorge Balderas used to burn the victim. He also was reportedly present when Balderas poured lighter fluid underneath the victim’s chair and lit it on fire.
Balderas, his girlfriend Sasha Martinez, and his ex-girlfriend Laura Zamudio were arrested in July following an investigation into the kidnapping.
Police received a 911 call on June 22 from a woman who said the victim had approached and asked her to call the police.
The victim told an Idaho Falls Police Department officer that in addition to the burnings, she was punched, beaten with various objects, cut with knives and had her hair removed. She said she escaped after managing to break free from her restraints and fleeing the residence through a window.
The victim said she had previously dated Balderas and continued to live with him, Martinez and Zamudio. She said Martinez cut her hair and accused the victim of “stepping on her toes.”
Alverado was dating Zamudio at the time of the incident. A warrant was filed for his arrest on Sept. 18. Court records state he is currently homeless.
The probable cause affidavit states Martinez told police Alverado had helped Balderas when he left to “pick up” the victim. The affidavit states police were not able to contact Alverado to interview him before the case was filed.
Alverado was charged with first-degree kidnapping, punishable with up to life in prison. His bond was set at $100,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 27 in Bonneville District Court.
Balderas and Zamudio have both been released from jail after posting $50,000 and $25,000 for their bond, respectively. A hearing date has not been scheduled for Balderas. Zamudio has a pretrial conference scheduled for Nov. 17 in Bonneville District Court.
Martinez remains in jail on a $75,000 bond. A status conference is scheduled in her case for Oct. 20.