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Children found in storage receptacle in Utah; self-proclaimed prophet in custody

Missing Person Utah

Four siblings have been located after missing for three months.  Their grandfather, Steve Sobel, confirmed the news to CBS Denver. He said the girls were found in a “storage receptacle.”


Their father, John Coltharp, 33, was arrested in Sanpete County on Friday, December 1, 2017 on suspicion of kidnapping.  The two brothers, 6 and 7 were found on Friday with Coltharp’s parents but it wasn’t until Monday when his two daughters, Hattie, 4, and Dina, 8, were found reports the  Salt Lake Tribune.

John Coltharp

Coltharp’s ex-wife notified the police when the children went missing in September.  It was believed at that time that Coltharp had taken the children from their Spring City home. His ex-wife was granted custody on Nov. 27.  The police located Coltharp and arrested him but he would not tell them where the children were, stating he “would rather see the kids dead than with the police.”

Family told authorities they believed that Coltharp has “betrothed” the children to a polygamist sect leader from the Knights of the Crystal Blade, named Samuel Warren Shaffer, aka as Federick Warren Shafer aka as Hans Woodman.  After receiving a tip, the police raided the compound.  They arrested Shaffer and he  told police where Coltharp’s daughters were.

The Iron County Sheriff’s Office says the girls were found “dehydrated and cold,” per the Spectrum. Authorities said the girls might not have survived the cool night, per CBS News.


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