clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

KIDNAP VICTIM'S MOM SEEKS END TO ORDEAL

Two days after a district judge declared a mistrial in the case of a man charged with kidnapping and molesting a young girl, the mother of the victim wishes the ordeal would end.

Last week's trial was the second round for Jill Healey, mother of a Deweyville girl who was kidnapped in 1987 while waiting for a ride outside the Bear River Middle School in Garland.Frank James Harvey of Elma, Wash., was convicted in the case in 1987 and served four months of a 15-year sentence at Utah State Prison before officials released him, saying they had new evidence implicating another suspect.

The second man charged, Thomas Headley, 31, of Snowville, was arrested last year. Both men drove blue cars, smoked brown-tipped cigarettes and owned dachshund dogs.

Harvey has filed a civil rights lawsuit in the case.

Headley's weeklong trial ended late Friday with 1st District Judge Gordon Low declaring a mistrial because the jury could not reach a verdict after nearly 10 hours of deliberations.

Low said Headley would remain charged but was neither convicted nor acquitted. Low said prosecutors would decide this week whether he should be tried again.

"I'd just like the whole thing to be done," Healey said in a telephone interview Monday.

Even though she said her daughter has handled the whole ordeal well, she was hoping it would end this time. Healey said her daughter is not aware of what happened on Friday.

Box Elder County Attorney Jon Bunderson was in court Monday and could not be reached for comment, but his secretary said it would likely be two or three days before he makes a decision about the case.

Bunderson has not contacted the family yet and Healey said she and her husband have yet to make their own decision about another trial.

She describes her daughter, now 9, as having a lot of "spunk" but said she gets a little disturbed when she has to relive the memory of the night spent with her kidnapper.

"Her actions the night she was taken prove she has spunk," she said.

In the early morning hours after she was abducted, the girl, then 6 years old, was released in the eastern Idaho community of Malta and ran directly to a house for help.

"She came home the next day and said it was a bad night and acted like she wanted to forget it," Healey said. "She really just wants to be normal."

The couple has five children, three younger than the victim, and her mother said the family has tried to keep things as normal as possible throughout.

"We've never asked her who it is (her abductor) at home. We don't talk about it at all at home. All we know is what she said in court," she said.

The girl was never able to positively identify the first man in court or in a police lineup but identified Headley in both situations as her abductor.

Meanwhile, as they await word from Bunderson, it is life as usual at the Healey home.

"We're doing fine now. Sometimes you have to tell yourself to forget it," Healey said. "Sometimes you have to figure life doesn't go the way you plan."