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White City couple unharmed after coming face to face with fugitive in their home

Published: Friday, July 5 2013 6:28 p.m. MDT

Helen and Fredric Urton came face to face with a man wanted by police Monday night. Helen Urton was in the bathroom when she heard noise from behind the shower curtain. She pulled it back, and a man jumped out. He got away before police arrived. The Urtons were not harmed during the ordeal.

Joe DeLuca, Deseret News

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WHITE CITY — A couple is feeling violated and vulnerable after an encounter with a fugitive hiding in their home.

Fredric and Helen Urton said they were watching TV in their basement Monday evening. As the couple was getting ready for bed, she said she went into their upstairs bathroom and heard noises coming from behind the shower curtain.

"I heard a slight sound and then I heard it a second time, so I flung my hand and he jumped out," Helen Urton said.

As she screamed, the man ran out of the bathroom and came face to face with her husband.

"He didn’t threaten us originally," Fredric Urton said. "In fact, he told us, 'You seem like nice people. I don't want to hurt you.'"

The man told the Urtons he was hiding from police and that he had entered the their home through a side door that was propped open. He also told them that he had taken a nap in their closet, but he told them that he hadn't stolen anything from them, they said.

"He swore he hadn't taken anything, and he put his hands up and twisted around and said, 'This is my watch,'" she said. "It was obvious he had been in every room upstairs. He started shaking and pleading, 'Please let me go. I just want to go home to my wife and child.'"

Fredric Urton attempted to set off their home security alarm. Thinking the system was contacting police, the couple talked the man, hoping he would still be there when authorities arrived. A few minutes went by and nothing happened, and the man got away. As soon as he was out the door, Fredric Urton called 911.

The Urtons later discovered that the man had taken two cans of soda from their fridge and used their bathroom.

"Somebody had used it royally and hadn't flushed it," Helen Urton said.

She also found that he had taken her credit cards, some money and jewelry from inside a case.

"I feel very vulnerable, very violated," Helen Urton said. "He needs to be behind bars, obviously."

The man had been in their home for more than four hours, they said.

After the Urtons reported the incident to Sandy police, the officers said they had been looking for a man, Brian Platt, 35, that evening. Platt had lunged at a police officer with a Leatherman knife during a traffic stop.

The officer used a Taser on Platt, but when the probes dislodged, the man ran away. When the Urtons were shown Platt's picture, they said the man in their house could have been him but that they weren't sure.

Police are investigating the burglary and are trying to determine if the man inside the Urtons' home was Platt. He has still not been located. Meanwhile, the Urtons' security company is looking into their system to find out why it didn’t function as it should.

Email: syi@deseretnews.com

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