Missing 10-year-old West Valley girl found, custodial parents give statement

By Celeste Rosenlof

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 10 2012 9:30 a.m. MST

The home of 10-year-old Aliyah Kay Crowder, who has been safely returned to her father after an Amber Alert yesterday, in West Valley City on Saturday, March 10, 2012.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

WEST VALLEY CITY — The 10-year-old girl abducted from her elementary school Friday afternoon has been located by police, and the Amber Alert activated for her abduction has been cancelled.

Aliyah Kay Crowder was located with her mother and suspect in the case, Venus Athena Barker in the northern part of Utah Friday night, police said in a statement issued just after midnight. According to the statement, Barker was initially unwilling to work with police, but after several hours of negotiations, she agreed to comply with them.

As of the time of the police statement, Aliyah had not been returned to her biological father, who has custody of her, though investigators are working to do so as circumstances permit.

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Statement given from Aliyah Crowder's custodial parents:

"After a distressing 14 hour period, our dear Aliyah was reunited with us around 2 a.m. this morning.

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the West Valley Police Department and all other law enforcement agencies that assisted in her recovery. Additionally, we would like to thank our community for their support and for all the prayers that were offered for her safe return. These prayers have been answered and Aliyah is doing very well.

We are appreciative of the Amber Alert that was issued in Aliyahs behalf and also for the vast media attention that undoubtedly assisted law enforcement in their efforts.

At this time, we respectfully request that our family be allowed to recover from this ordeal in privacy."

Sincerely,

Michael and Annie Varner

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