Authorities locate 2 missing Utah girls of polygamist sect member; suspect arrested

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IRON COUNTY, Utah -- Two young girls who went missing in Utah and were believed to have been betrothed to a polygamist man for marriage were located Monday night.

The sisters were found safe and an Amber Alert that was issued in the case has been canceled.

Police say the girls were found alone in a building outside of Lund, Utah, and are being transferred to a hospital for medical evaluations.

According to the Iron County Sheriff's Office, 34-year-old Samuel Warren Shaffer was arrested.

The girls' mother lives in Highlands Ranch.

Dinah, 8, and Haddie, 4, were taken by their father to Spring City, Utah, in May along with their two brothers.

Their father, John Coltharp, was arrested Saturday for investigation of kidnapping the children when authorities raided what is believed to be a religious compound.

The boys, 6 and 7, were found Monday just outside of Cedar City, Utah, but Coltharp refused to divulge the location of the girls. His wife said she was worried for the girls' safety.

"He is very anti-government, anti-police and he spoke several times about how there are things worse than death, and he would rather have my children taken by God than taken by the state or police," Micha Soble said about Coltharp.

"[Shaffer] believes he holds the keys of this dispensation and he has been many people throughout the history of time and that he has been reincarnated," Soble told KSTU. "They are following his prophecies and I believe he is with them and helping hide the children."

 

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