Roy Tuttle is used to solving problems and fixing things. He does it for a living.
That's what made the events of this past week so difficult for the Bountiful native; his wife, Donna; and their two teenage daughters, Michelle and Cambria.Thousands of miles removed from his son, Elder Travis Robert Tuttle, there was little Roy Tuttle could do to help his oldest child.
"He is elated to be alive. He knows that he is lucky," Roy Tuttle said in front of his suburban Phoenix home Sunday afternoon, hours after speaking to his son for the first time since Travis was kidnapped in Russia four days earlier.
"He knows that he was delivered home, back to safety, because of his Heavenly Father."
The Tuttles' nightmare ended with a ring at 4 a.m. Sunday. The 30-second call from the U.S. State Department let them know their son, a 20-year-old LDS missionary, had been freed from his captors near the Russian city of Saratov, about 450 miles southeast of Moscow.
A minute later, Tuttle said, the family received a second call from LDS Church officials, confirming the good news.
By 10 a.m. Sunday, the Tuttles had heard from Travis himself.
Monday, they were hoping to hear from Travis again. Instead, church officials called to tell them it will be one or two weeks before their young missionary is able to call home again. At that time, they will learn whether he will complete his mission in Saratov, be moved or choose to come home early.
Tuttle described his son's Sunday morning call. "He is in good spirits. He is healthy. He's tired," said his father, the facilities manager at nearby Mesa Lutheran Hospital.
"He is working with the authorities as much as possible to bring the kidnappers" to justice.
That's one reason the conversation with Travis Tuttle was short. Tuttle said church and Russian authorities, who relocated their son to an undisclosed safe haven, were anxious to hear every detail of his experience in hopes of capturing the kidnappers. Monday, that hope was realized when Russian authorities arrested two of the three kidnappers.
On Sunday, Roy Tuttle reported his conversation: "He said, `Hi Dad, how are you?' " Tuttle said. "I said, `Travis, it's so good to hear your voice. I've been waiting for days to hear it.' "
Roy Tuttle said the family had heard Travis Tuttle may have been roughed up by his captors, but said his son didn't discuss it on the phone.
"He didn't comment on that. He just commented that he was warm, he was full, and they'd taken care of him.' "
Travis Tuttle's two-year mission is scheduled to end in November. Friends and family members speculated Sunday that Travis Tuttle probably would choose to serve the remainder of the mission, and might be tempted to stay in Russia, even if officials discouraged him.
The Tuttles spoke privately with the Deseret News Sunday, an hour after holding a press conference on their front lawn. The briefing marked the first time the family had agreed to appear on television since their son was kidnapped Wednesday along with his companion, Andrew Lee Propst, 20, Lebanon, Ore.
Friends said the Tuttles did not want to say much publicly for fear their statements might in some way jeopardize their son. Even after his son's release, Roy Tuttle said he still could not reveal some of what he knows about his son's situation for security reasons.
As Sunday afternoon folded into evening, the Tuttles planned to try - for the first time since Wednesday night - to have a good meal and a restful sleep.
"We are totally exhausted," Roy Tuttle said wearily, wiping his hand across his forehead and leaning back against the side of his house.
"This whole ordeal has taken place over five days. We have not had any sleep."
But the Tuttles have had tremendous support from the community, from both members of the LDS Church and non-members, said Lynn Holyoak, bishop of the Tuttles' ward. One non-LDS woman who lives down the street decorated the Tuttles' house and yard with several large yellow ribbons.
The Holyoaks, who live just a few houses away, have been constant visitors to the Tuttle household since the crisis began.
"The hardest thing for them is they have had to labor under this intense threat to their son with no information," Holyoak said. "Basically, they had to just wait it out.
"They spent 72 hours without sleep, wondering if their child was still alive."
Friends of the family said the experience has been toughest on Roy Tuttle, who is especially close to his son. Holyoak said Tuttle has been very emotional, and has spent much of the last several days weeping for his son.
"Mom's a rock," family friend Fred Martin, Lacey's father, said of Donna Tuttle. "And Roy was pretty shaken. Travis is his buddy and he was obviously depressed, more so because he was frustrated that he couldn't do anything to help his son."
Except for prayer and sacrifice. Martin said the family and members of their LDS ward began a fast Saturday, and prayers were not only pouring out of the Tuttle home but into it as well. Friends and strangers, LDS and non-LDS, from Utah, Arizona and outside the country, called the family to express concern, Martin said. Others sent flowers and messages of support.
The Tuttles said they were in touch with the State Department officials six or seven times a day during the ordeal. Throughout, they had faith their son would survive.
"We've stayed positive through this whole thing and knew he was going to come home," Roy Tuttle said. "From day one, we knew Travis was going to be OK."