OGDEN — A 13-year-old girl and her younger sister are safe after hiding inside a closet and calling 911 Wednesday as burglars broke into their home.
Kylee Newell, 13, was still visibly shaken as she recounted the experience Wednesday afternoon.
"I was frantic, really frantic," she said. "I don't think I've ever experienced anything that scary."
Weber County students are out of school for spring break this week, and Kylee and her 8-year-old sister, Audrey, were alone about 10:45 a.m. when a man and woman attempted to kick open the front door of their home near 3700 West and 1400 South.
The girls retreated to an upstairs bedroom closet where Kylee called 911.
"She would ask me questions to keep me calm," Kylee said, explaining how she stayed on the phone with a police dispatcher as the intruders moved throughout her house.
Two intruders — Robert Keith Paul, 50, of Roy, and Amy Nichole Hulse, 31, of Ogden — reportedly entered the home by breaking through a side door and then began rummaging through several rooms, police said.
At one point, one of the burglars entered the room where the girls were hiding, but it appears neither were ever aware of the girls' presence, said Russell Newell, the girls' father.
"They tore my bedroom to pieces, and then they walked down the hallway and swung (Kylee's) door open, and she could literally see a silhouette of them," Russell Newell said. "He luckily turned around and went back out."
Weber County sheriff's deputy Weston Voth said he saw a man leave the home as he was responding to the 911 call. The deputy stopped the man a short distance away and arrested him and the woman who was with him.
"They came up with a story about how they got in a fight and she dropped him off and he was walking down the road," Voth said. "They lied a lot."
Paul and Hulse were booked into the Weber County Jail for investigation of residential burglary and theft. One of the two is also suspected of drug possession.
The two children were not harmed during the break-in but were deeply frightened.
"They were very traumatized by the whole situation," said Weber County Sheriff's Sgt. Lane Findlay. "Physically, they're fine."
Stolen property was recovered and returned to the owners. Findlay said there was some damage to two exterior doors of the home.
Police believe the crime was random and that Paul and Hulse appeared to be casing the area looking for unoccupied homes. A search warrant was issued to search their vehicle to determine whether they were involved in other burglaries that have occurred in the area, the sergeant said.
"This little girl did everything that she should have as far as grabbing her little sister and hiding and calling dispatch and remaining calm," Findlay said.
"It's important for parents to teach their kids to keep doors and windows closed and locked," he said.
Newell, grateful his daughters are safe, said he hopes other families can learn from their experience.
"The last thing on my mind would be to have this happen," he said. "It was just a random, crazy deal, and we just thank the Lord that nothing crazy ever happened in it."
Contributing: McKenzie Romero
- LDS missionary critically injured in Oklahoma...
- Salt Lake officer captured Dillon Taylor...
- Utah County teen made 'swatting' threats...
- Lunch manager on leave after diabetic student...
- Odyssey Elementary opens doors for...
- Stranger donates vehicle to Bountiful...
- Tips lead police to arrest of public enemy No. 1
- North Ogden woman sent to prison in...
- Poll: Utahns willing to fight for... 58
- Utah argues for more time to file... 41
- Utah claims top ACT scores for second year 34
- Government regulation has become like... 31
- Lunch manager on leave after diabetic... 28
- State asks for more time to file appeal... 24
- Poll: Majority of Utahns in favor of... 22
- Jay Evensen: Is Provo really an... 22