PINEDALE, Wyo. – A father and son accused of luring a woman and her four teenage daughters to a Utah house and tying them up were finally both brought in to custody Saturday in Wyoming after an extensive manhunt.
The men are accused of tying the mother and daughters up with zip ties. When the elder Harrison hit the woman with a baseball bat, the teens began to break their ties and try to escape, according to charging documents. In the struggle that followed, one girl slapped away a shotgun pointed at her throat and another grabbed the bat and hit the son, police said.
The victims managed to escape.
Late Saturday night, law officers culminated a manhunt with the arrest of Dereck James “DJ” Harrison, 22, several hours after the surrender of his father, Flint Wayne Harrison, 51, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office said.
The various charges the men face include aggravated kidnapping and possession of a controlled substance.
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office said that shortly after 10 p.m. MDT, the younger Harrison was arrested without incident in the Half Moon Lake area of western Wyoming and booked into the county jail.
His father had turned himself in earlier in the day and had been helping authorities find his son, officials said.
The forested back country around the lake had been the focus of a daylong search after officials determined that the younger man was in the area, possibly armed with rifles with high-capacity magazines and knives. He had also made threats to law enforcement, the sheriff’s office said.
During the search, authorities evacuated a campground and urged area residents to stay inside.
The arrest came shortly after the department had announced that the search for the younger man was suspended for the night.
“Law enforcement officials who were manning the roadblock and patrolling the roadway, observed a male matching the description of Dereck, walking south towards the deputies,” the department said in a news release.
“This is an incredible end to a very stressful day,” Sheriff Stephen Haskell said.
Meanwhile, authorities said the woman and her daughters are recovering after the attack Tuesday in Centerville, Utah.
The father and son had been using methamphetamine heavily over several days and falsely believed the woman had reported them to authorities, police said.
Investigators said the pair had invited the five to a barbecue and planned the kidnapping to retaliate against the mother.
The younger Harrison was a close friend of the woman’s family. He often visited the home for dinner or picked the girls up from school. The teens, aged 13 to 18, had known him for several years.
The Harrisons fled and were eventually picked up by someone who took them to Salt Lake City, where they spent Tuesday night in a hotel.
The elder Harrison is a registered sex offender. He surrendered in Pinedale for reasons still unknown to police. Investigators think the father and son had been in Wyoming since Thursday.