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Iron County Father who sparked Amber Alert may face more charges

John Coltharp listening in his first court hearing. Photo: KTVX Pool

MANTI — The father accused of kidnapping his children in an Amber Alert last week may soon face more charges.

John Coltharp’s first court was held today. Outside the courtroom Sanpete County attorney, Kevin Daniels, said they are thinking about filing more charges against Coltharp.

“The big thing for our office was the safety of the children. We accomplished that goal. Now we are moving on to holding people accountable for their actions,” Daniels said.

Coltharp is accused of joining a prepper religion and relocating his four children to a compound outside of Lund, Utah. Cotharp did not have custody at the time and when police caught up with him officers said he refused to give the location of his children. Coltharp’s two sons were found in the compound with their grandparents. After an extensive search of the area another suspect in the case, Samuel Shaffer, told police where to find Coltharp’s young daughters. One of the girls, 4 years old, was found in a barrel that was exposed to the outdoor temperatures. A second daughter, 8 years old, was found in an abandoned mobile home several miles away.

Both girls are thought to have suffered through severe temperatures for near 24 hours with minimal protection and no food or water.

“We’re evaluating all the facts and determining what charges are appropriate to hold these individuals accountable,” Daniels said.