Two men were in custody Saturday night after a day-long manhunt in Wyoming over the alleged kidnapping and assault of a mother and her four daughters.
Dereck “D.J.” Harrison, 22, was arrested at about 10 p.m. Saturday night after the manhunt in the Half Moon Lake area, northeast of the town of Pinedale, Wyoming. His father Flint Wayne Harrison, 51, had turned himself in to authorities in Sublette County earlier Saturday.
The Harrisons had been wanted for allegedly luring the mother and her daughters, aged between 13 and 18, to a Utah home Tuesday for a barbecue. There, the men allegedly tied them up with wire and duct tape, according to police in Centerville, north of Salt Lake City.
The mother and some of the young girls were assaulted with a baseball bat as they attempted to break free, Centerville police said. By the time they did escape, the suspects had already fled.
Police said they were still investigating motive for the crime, which they believe may have been fueled by Harrison’s “perceived paranoia.” In an interview with NBC affiliate KSL, Dereck Harrison’s mother suggested her son uses the drug methamphetamine.
Centerville Police Lt. Von Steenblik told KSL the younger Harrison apparently believed the woman, who he knew, had “ratted them out in some way.”
“And we believe that is D.J.’s perceived paranoia, because the victim is telling us she didn’t do anything. There’s nothing there. And we don’t believe she did anything,” Steenblik said.
Authorities had evacuated a Pinedale, Wyoming, campground earlier Saturday and urged the town’s 2,000 residents to shelter in place. The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office said the younger Harrison was believed to be armed with two rifles and had made threats about law enforcement. They warned he was “extremely dangerous.”
Deputies found him walking a little more than a mile from a roadblock. “This is an incredible end to a very stressful day,” Sheriff Stephen Haskell said in a statement.