Police have arrested a Spokane, Wash., couple on kidnapping charges after an 8-year-old girl was abducted from Morgan Elementary School in Henefer.
Officers said Thursday afternoon's abduction followed a failed attempt to kidnap the girl's older sister from another school.The younger girl was snatched from the school foyer at 12:48 p.m. and was found 90 minutes later with the couple, who claimed to be the child's natural mother and stepfather, police said. The three were hiding along the banks of the Weber River about a mile east of Henefer.
The girl, Colleen Smith, who had been living with a foster family in Morgan, was unharmed, authorities said.
Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Steve Seim said a car believed to have been used by the couple was found near where the arrests were made. The left front tire was flat.
Patrick Wayne Smith, 39, and Bonnie Leland Smith, 38, appeared in 2nd Circuit Court in Ogden on charges of first-degree felony kidnapping. They were held in the Weber County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.
In addition to the alleged kidnapping, Seim said a man and a woman tried to abduct the girl's 11-year-old sister, Kaylene, a student at Morgan Middle School, but were foiled when teachers did not recognize them as the child's guardians.
Seim said the younger girl left with the couple without resistance after the woman promised her clothes and other items.
He said the children were removed from their parents' custody two or three months ago and placed in foster care with a Morgan family. A third child is living with another family.
Morgan County Sheriff Bert Holbrook said that in checking the couple's background, law enforcement officials found Bonnie Smith, also known as Doris Gray, to be wanted in Salt Lake County as an escapee from the county jail and on a governor's warrant from North Dakota on a document forgery charge.
The woman also is wanted in the Utah communities of Springville and Ogden on charges of theft and giving false information, authorities said.
Patrick Wayne Smith is wanted on a Utah County warrant, they said.