Fourth person arrested in connection to kidnapping, torture of woman

Austin Alverado | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — Police have arrested a fourth suspect in connection to the torture and kidnapping of a woman in June.

Austin Alverado, 23, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with felony first-degree kidnapping. A warrant for the man, who is homeless, was issued in September after police identifed him as a suspect in the alleged kidnapping and torture of the victim that took place over several days.

In an affidavit of probable cause, Alverado is accused of heating tools that co-defendant Jorge Luis Balderas, 26, used to burn the victim. Sasha Dee Martinez, 33, Balderas’ girlfriend, and ex-girlfriend Laura Zamudio, 28, were previously arrested and charged in connection to the case. At the time of the alleged torture, Alverado was in a relationship with Zamudio.

The Idaho Falls Police Department first learned of the case on June 22, when someone called 911 saying the victim told her she just escaped from a house near the lettered streets in Idaho Falls. How the people moved into the house near downtown Idaho Falls seems to involve a convoluted set of relationships.

RELATED | Idaho Falls woman held captive and tortured for days, police say

The victim told police she meet Balderas online in January and moved in with him in Burley. At the time, Zamudio lived with the two women. The three moved to Idaho Falls in March into Martinez’s home. Balderas and the victim then broke up and he began dating Martinez.

When speaking with investigators, the victim described horrific torture suffered at the hands of her captors. She was beat, tied to a chair and then burned. The victim ultimately escaped and a passerby called 911.

Police spent several weeks building the case and securing arrest warrants for those allegedly involved.

Alverado remains in the Bonneville County Jail on $35,000 bail, which was reduced from $75,000. A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 27 before Magistrate Judge Jason Walker.