Pregnant teen returns to Utah and turns herself in to police

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 31 2007 12:07 a.m. MST

AMERICAN FORK — One of three pregnant teenagers who allegedly assaulted their caretaker at an American Fork group home has turned herself in to police.

American Fork Police say the girl, 15, turned herself in with her mother Monday afternoon, nearly two weeks after she and two other girls, ages 15 and 16, allegedly hit 53-year-old Jana Moody over the head with a frying pan, then tied her up and stole her credit cards and her van.

Moody and her husband, Spencer, operate the New Hope Maternity Home for struggling pregnant teenagers. The girls also allegedly tied up a fellow pregnant teenager in the process.

Police say the three teens, who are from California, Illinois and Texas, drove the van to Los Angeles, where it was found by local police officers last week. While there, the girl called her mother, who picked her up and talked her into turning herself in.

The mother then called police late last week and said she would drive her daughter back to American Fork.

"Her mother brought her to the police department, and we offered to help the family," American Fork Police Sgt. Shauna Greening said. "She is healthy and in good condition. She is now in a safe environment and won't be on the run anymore."

The girl was booked into the Slate Canyon Youth Detention Center.

Greening said detectives have spoken with the girl in an effort to find out where the other two girls may have gone. She said the girl has been cooperative, but Greening declined to comment on any specifics of the ongoing investigation.

"We are sympathetic to the victims and families at this time, and I want to encourage the other two females that are still on the run to turn themselves in," Greening said. "We want them to come in out of the cold. We're worried that they're living out on the streets, and if they turn themselves in, they'll be in a safe environment."

Greening said officers' top priority right now is the safety and well-being of the girls and their babies, but she emphasized the girls will still face justice.

"We want to assure the victim and the families that we will conduct a thorough investigation and present it to the Utah County Attorney for prosecution," she said.


E-mail: jtwitchell@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS