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Utah tot found in Louisiana

Custodial mom talks with her; man still at large

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ROY — A 3-year-old girl who police say was kidnapped by her mother's ex-boyfriend is now in protective custody in Louisiana after authorities traced a phone call the man made from there Saturday.

Police were still looking for 45-year-old Paul David Williamson late Saturday night after he fled on foot from the home in Denham Springs, La.

Jackie Cash, who is not the natural mother but has custodial rights over 3-year-old Angel Danielle Alexander, spoke with the girl at 8:30 p.m. MDT. Angel appears to be in good health.

"She was very happy. I think she was a little scared," Cash told reporters at a press conference Saturday night inside the Roy Municipal Center. "I asked her if she was ready to come home and she said yes. She just told me she missed her puppy Cuddles."

Cash and detectives from the Roy City Police Department will fly to Louisiana Monday to retrieve the girl and conduct an investigation in the area.

Because the girl was transported across state lines after being taken from her Roy home last week, Williamson could face federal charges.

The girl's biological mother, whose home Williamson made the call from, and others in Louisiana also could be facing charges depending on how much they knew about the kidnapping, authorities said.

"We don't know anything about these people right now," Roy police Chief Chris Zimmerman said. "If they did know the kidnapping took place and they didn't report it, there could be charges filed."

Saturday's fortuitous turn of events started because Williamson made his first telephone call from inside a private home. Police could not trace his two previous phone calls to Cash because he used a phone card.

Williamson called Cash at 11:52 a.m. and told her if she didn't get police to drop the charges against him she'd never see the girl again.

Roy police detectives traced the call to the home in Denham Springs, La.

Deputies from the Livingston

Sheriff's Office in Louisiana went to the home but learned the girl was at another home with friends in Baton Rouge, La.

At 6:30 p.m. MDT, authorities from the Baton Rouge Police Department and Livingston Sheriff's Office found Angel at that home where an elderly woman who was a friend of Cash's lives.

Cash said she was surprised to learn her daughter was in Louisiana.

Sightings of the girl were reported in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, Roy police Lt. Greg Whinham said. In each location, authorities peppered the area with photographs of the girl.

"We still believed we had good information that he was in Utah a few days ago," Zimmerman said.

Police are still trying to determine how Williamson had enough money to buy bus tickets for himself and Angel to Louisiana since it's estimated he only had $100 in cash with him when the girl was taken. They're also not sure from where he caught the bus.

Police are still on the look out for the gray 1987 Chevy Astro van Williamson used as transportation.

Police believe Williamson took the girl because he was angry that Cash had ended their relationship. Cash, who has known Williamson for eight years, has told police the relationship was abusive. Williamson is not Angel's father.

Cash moved to Roy from Tennessee four months ago in an effort to distance herself from Williamson. Saturday Cash said she plans to stay in Utah after her daughter is returned home.

"I've raised her since she was born," Cash said. "This year was supposed to be the adoption."

Contributing: Jennifer Dobner

E-MAIL: djensen@desnews.com