Idaho Falls woman held captive and tortured for days, police say
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IDAHO FALLS — Police arrested three people on Monday after a woman told investigators they held her captive and tortured her over several weeks.
On June 22, the woman asked a stranger to call 911 for her. The woman said she had just escaped from a home on the 1000 block of Canal Street, where Jorge Luis Balderas, 26, Sasha Dee Martinez, 33, and Laura Zamudio, 28, held her captive and tortured her, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.
The victim told detectives she met Balderas online in January and moved in with him in Burley. At the time, Zamudio, one of Balderas’ ex-girlfriends, also lived with Balderas and the victim. The three moved to Idaho Falls in March into the home of Martinez, she said. Balderas and the victim then broke up and he began dating Martinez.
The victim said that during the week of June 8, she was hit in the head with propane torches, tire irons and pots, according to court documents. She also claimed that Balderas held her against her will while Zamudio punched her in the face. Police reports do not indicate what provoked the abuse.
In another incident, the victim told police Balderas had another man tie her to a chair for about three days. While the victim was tied up, Balderas allegedly burned her arm twice with a blow torch, poured lighter fluid on her and ignited it.
The victim said that on June 22, Martinez, Zamudio and another woman tied her to a chair with a rope and ratchet straps and cut off her hair. During the incident, the victim says Martinez told her “she didn’t deserve (her hair),” though she accused the victim of disrespecting her and Balderas. Martinez allegedly said the victim “stepped on her toes,” according to court documents.
“Sasha told (the victim) she was going to make sure she remembered her and proceeded to carve an ‘N’ in her right facial cheek,” detectives wrote in their report. “(The victim) said Sasha had the nickname of Nana, and that is why she carved the ‘N.'”
Zamudio and the woman allegedly stood by and watched Martinez inflict the torture, according to court documents.
Martinez then allegedly said she would leave the victim in the basement and turn up the heat to “let her roast.”
Once the victim could hear footsteps of those upstairs moving away, she wiggled out of the ropes and called 911.
Idaho Falls Police officers arrived at the home on June 23 to conduct a search warrant. In their report, detectives wrote they found a chair in the basement with part of a ligature still attached. Police also found burn marks on the floor with propane torches nearby. Large amounts of hair matching the victim’s also covered the floor.
Police also indicate they located methamphetamine inside the home, which they determined to belong to Martinez. All three suspects denied any involvement in the kidnapping and torture of the victim.
The victim sustained several injuries and a severe burn to her leg, which were treated at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Police spent several weeks building their case and obtaining arrest warrants for Balderas, Martinez and Zamudio.
Balderas is charged with felony first-degree kidnapping and three felony counts of aggravated battery. His bail is set at $50,000.
Martinez is charged with two felony counts of first-degree kidnapping, felony aggravated battery, felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor battery. Her bail is set at $75,000.
Zamudio is charged two felony counts of first-degree kidnapping and misdemeanor battery. Her bail is set at $25,000.
Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for Aug. 5 in Bonneville County.