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Police cancel Amber Alert after pinging phone to find girl

Jazsmine Corianna Leah Winston
Jazsmine Corianna Leah Winston
South Salt Lake Police Department

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Police canceled an Amber Alert for 8-year-old Jazsmine Corianna Leah Winston after locating her unharmed about an hour and 45 minutes after the alert was issued Saturday.

According to South Salt Lake police, Jazsmine was with her father, Robert Winston, 53, who does not have legal custody of her.

Around 2:45 p.m., Winston was pulled over by police on an I-15 northbound off-ramp at 12300 South in Draper and arrested. The public alert was canceled 30 minutes later.

Jazsmine, who was unharmed, was taken from the scene and was being interviewed by police, said South Salt Lake Police Chief Jack Carruth.

Authorities believed Winston may have been trying to take her to Las Vegas. After being notified by the girl's mother about 9:30 a.m. Saturday that she was missing, police contacted Winston, who insisted he was in Las Vegas and didn't know where she was, Carruth said.

"Officers, not believing that ... started pinging the location of his cellphone," he said.

Police discovered Winston's phone was in the approximate area of 3300 South and 200 East, "which was alarming because the suspect lives in Las Vegas and claimed he was home," Carruth said. They also detected shortly after noon that he was southbound on I-15, he said, leading officers to believe Winston "was headed back to Las Vegas."

Police were initially looking for a 2013 maroon Chrysler Town and Country minivan, but were able to quickly access surveillance footage from businesses in the area where his phone was pinged and spotted a larger model dark gray Ford Expedition with California plates "that was suspicious in behavior," according to Carruth.

Just before the Amber Alert was issued, pings of Winston's phone indicated he was in the Payson/Santaquin area, according to South Salt Lake police. Shortly afterward, police believe, he changed directions and began traveling northbound on I-15.

Carruth said Winston likely turned around after noticing the Amber Alert had been issued.

"We believe that the suspect's phone and the overhead message centers on I-15 notified him that police were aware that Jazsmine ... had been taken," Carruth said.

Winston was arrested without incident. Carruth said three older siblings of the girl, all under 18 years old, were in the vehicle with them, but were not subjects of the Amber Alert.