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Amber alert canceled; girls found safe

IRON COUNTY — The AMBER Alert issued for two missing girls has been canceled, after police say they were found safe and are being transported to local hospitals.

The alert was issued Monday afternoon. Police were searching for Samuel Warren Shaffer, 34, along with two young girls, 4-year-old Hattie Briella Coltharp and 8-year-old Dinah Elizabeth Coltharp.

The drama surrounding these kids and their father started three months ago when Spring City Police did a welfare check on his home and he and his four kids were gone.  Spring City Police Chief Clarke Christensen says Coltharp and his four kids were gone.  Clarke says he was arrested last Friday at the family home and police came to him with a deal on Saturday.  “We offered him the opportunity to leave if he would just tell us where the kids were, and he refused to do that.”

Monday afternoon, police raided a compound in Iron County, and found Coltharp’s sons, but not his daughters.  Christensen says Coltharp has said violent things to others about his family.  “The father has made comments in the past to family members and many people that if the police, or DCFS or anybody comes to take his kids, he’ll kill them all,” adding, “I always took that to mean he’d kill the cops, but, there are people that seem to feel differently.”

When Coltharp first took the children, he was still married and had equal custody of the kids.  Since then, his wife has divorced him and been awarded custody.