Utah's attorney general hopes a nationwide television audience will help him catch a man accused of killing a child in Moab and of vowing never to be taken alive.
Attorney General Paul Van Dam has agreed to appear on "America's Most Wanted," a weekly television show that publicizes descriptions of people wanted in connection with serious crimes.Van Dam hopes his appearance will help law enforcement officials find Steven Ray Allen, 41. Allen is suspected of beating a 3-year-old boy repeatedly over a period of several months, fracturing 12 of the child's ribs.
The boy died, and the medical examiner who performed the autopsy said the death was caused by the injuries.
Allen has been missing for 20 months. Authorities said he is wanted on three counts of child abuse and one count of second-degree criminal homicide.
When the program airs Sunday at 7 p.m. MST, state investigator Mike Hines will be standing by at a television studio in Washington ready to field calls. His telephone number will be shown as part of the program.
"There are two things we hope to accomplish from the program," Hines said. "First, we would like to capture him (Allen), but also if he is in a domestic situation right now which jeopardizes young children we hope the program might warn them or their mother of the possible danger."
State officials said they believe the show has been responsible for police getting leads in many criminal cases.
A statement issued by the attorney general's office said Allen has been heard to say he does not want to be taken alive. He allegedly has a violent temper and is skilled with the use of firearms.
"Ultimately, I hope my appearance on this program will help facilitate the capture of Mr. Allen and end the potential threat he poses to other children," Van Dam said.