Lehigh Valley

Woman charged with kidnapping estranged girlfriend in Lehigh County

Nakia Rivera is accused of taking Katherine Frank against her will last week

Woman charged with kidnapping ex-girlfriend

UPPER SAUCON TWP., Pa. - A 28-year-old Allentown woman is facing numerous charges after police said she kidnapped her estranged girlfriend from a home in Lehigh County last week.

It all started around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when police said Nakia Monique Rivera and three men went to a house at 5410 Boulevard Grand Cru in Upper Saucon Township, asking for 'Katie.'

Katie, or Katherine Frank, was a house guest of W. Russell Yurchak Jr., according to police documents, and Frank told police she'd left her estranged girlfriend -- Rivera -- two weeks earlier because she feared for her life.

On Wednesday, the men tied Yurchak to a chair and took his cell phone, handsets for his telephone land line, driver's license, two credit cards and his 2006 Mercedes sedan, police said.

Rivera also grabbed Frank out of a shower, wrapped her in a towel and kidnapped her, according to the documents.

On Saturday, a woman matching Frank's description was seen with Rivera in the 600 block of Chew Street in Allentown, police said.

Rivera gave police a false name, according to the documents.

Frank told police she left the home she shared with Rivera two weeks ago and went to stay with Yurchak for safety, after Rivera had punched her in the nose after an argument.

Frank also said Rivera took her against her will on Wednesday, and Rivera threatened her with assault and homicide if she tried to escape, police said.

In a police interview, Rivera told police she was upset when Frank left her and wanted her back. She also said she took three unknown men with her to Yurchak's house on Wednesday, and at least one did have a handgun.

Rivera told police she went to the house to get Frank, and she was not going to let her leave her presence for fear of never seeing her again.

Rivera's mother, who only identified herself as Janice, said she thinks there's more to the story.

"It was a setup," she said.

"I know for a fact if this guy was robbed, Katie set it up," she said. "How would my daughter know where the guy lived at?"

Rivera, of 726 W. Union Blvd., was arrested and charged with kidnapping, simple assault, unlawful restraint, theft, robbery, and related charges. She was committed to the Lehigh County Prison on $750,000 bail.

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