PINDALE, Wyo — Centerville police are expected this week to begin the process of extraditing a father and son from Wyoming back to Utah to face kidnapping and assault charges.
Meanwhile, investigators are also retracing the steps of Dereck James "DJ" Harrison, 22, and his father, Flint Wayne Harrison, 51, who had been on the run since allegedly kidnapping a Clinton mother and her four teen daughters and assaulting them on May 10.
DJ Harrison was arrested without incident about 10 p.m. Saturday, ending an intense manhunt around the Half Moon Lake area near Pinedale, located north of Rock Springs.
"We were very, very concerned about the welfare of the law enforcement officers involved and the public at large. We're just very happy it ended peacefully without anybody getting hurt. There's a lot of manpower that went into this. There was reason for pretty grave concern, based on the information we were getting. So we're just happy it ended the way that it did," Centerville Police Chief Paul Child said.
Law enforcement officers were wrapping up their operation for the night, when officers stationed at a road block, "observed a male matching the description of Dereck, walking south towards the deputies approximately 1.5 miles from the where the roadblock was located," according to a statement from the Sublette County, Wyo. Sheriffs Office.
"It kind of appeared he had given up and was going to turn himself in," Child said.
The arrest of the younger Harrison comes less than 24 hours after his father, Flint Harrison, turned himself in to authorities early Saturday morning. After surrendering, Harrison, "immediately started working with local investigators to locate his son Dereck," Sublette County Sheriff's Sgt. Katherine Peterson said.
"He did describe the location where he left his son sometime during the evening of May 13, before making his way to the detention center in Pinedale," Peterson said.
Before being arrested, authorities had located a makeshift campsite with gear thought to belong to DJ Harrison.
"Dereck, who had been reported to have very little camping gear and adequate clothing for spending any significant length of time in the backcountry, was also reported to be in possession of two knives, a .300 win mag rifle and a .22 Remington 10/22 rifle. It was also reported that he had several high capacity magazines. Additionally, he had made several threats against law enforcement officials," according to a statement from the Sublette County Sheriff's Office.
Child said Flint Harrison told police that his son "was intent on going out in a blaze of glory, fighting it out with police."
It was not immediatley known Sunday if any weapons had been recovered.
Both men were charged in Davis County's 2nd District Court last week with five counts of aggravated kidnapping, and five counts of aggravated assault, both first-degree felonies, among other charges.
On May 10, the men invited a woman and her daughters to a house in Centerville for a barbecue. Police, however, believe the barbecue was a ruse to get the women into the basement of the house where the men had zip-ties and Duct Tape laid out, awaiting their arrival.
DJ Harrison pointed a shotgun at the women at one point. After binding the daughters' hands with the tape and zip-ties, the Harrisons allegedly put a bag over the mother's head and began beating her with their fists and a baseball bat, according to investigators.
"(The men) sit mom down, and there's some conversation about, 'We're going to get to the bottom of what you did,' and then they start to assault her," Centerville Police Lt. Von Steenblik said last week.
The daughters were able to break free of their restraints and ran out of the house, with their mother to call for help, police said.
Police believe after the Harrisons fled from the house, they drove their car to Farmington where they abandoned their vehicle and got a ride from an acquaintance to Salt Lake. It was not immediately known Sunday how they made it to Wyoming.
DJ Harrison's mother told members of the media that she believed her son was on methamphetamine at the time of the alleged kidnapping and assault. She said her son was close to the mother and her daughters and would never hurt them. Prior to charges being filed against him last week, DJ Harrison did not have a criminal record.
Contributing: Amy Joi O'Donoghue and Alex Cabrero
Email: [email protected]