Crime

California Couple Accused Of Child Molestation And On The Run For 18 Years Caught In Utah, Authorities Say

| by Jared Keever

The U.S. Marshals Service says it has finally caught up to a California couple wanted on child abuse charges for over 18 years. 

William Lloyd Balser and Robin Robinson were arrested Wednesday night in West Valley City, Utah, KUTV News reports. 

The couple was wanted by Manteca, California, police on charges dating back to 1998. Police allege that Balser repeatedly raped Robinson’s daughters and that Robinson knew of the abuse and did nothing to stop it, according to KCRA News. 

Balser was wanted on multiple counts of child molestation including unlawful intercourse with a child, lewd acts with a child, and continuous sexual abuse of a child, according to the Manteca Bulletin. 

"Balser was believed to be using brute force and intimidation to commit his violent acts on the children,” the U.S. Marshals Service told KUTV. 

Balser is reported by numerous outlets as having multiple alleged victims. It is unclear from reports if he is accused of molesting victims other than Robinson’s children.

Police opened an investigation into the couple in 1998 and on Feb. 18 of that year moved to arrest them only to find the couple had fled, KUTV reports. Balser’s truck was found by police a few days later.

Little has been heard from the couple in the intervening years. The two were featured on an episode of the crime show “America’s Most Wanted” in 2007. 

Officials said that at one point Balser contacted investigators and bragged that they would never catch him. 

Investigators told KUTV they tracked multiple leads to numerous states but were never able to pinpoint the couple’s whereabouts. That began to change earlier this year, authorities said, when a tip shifted the investigation’s focus to the Salt Lake City area. Surveillance eventually confirmed the couple’s location, investigators said. 

The two were living in a duplex under the names Bill Peterson and Lisa Lynn Daniels, KSTU News reports. 

Their neighbor, David Klemczak, said he first heard the news from a friend and couldn’t believe it. 

“I turned my news on this morning, and I’m like ‘my God, what?’” Klemczak told KSTU. 

Police said the couple denied their identities but fingerprints confirmed them as the suspects. 

The two remain in the Salt Lake City Detention Center, where they are awaiting extradition back to California. 

Sources: KUTV News, KCRA News, Manteca Bulletin, KSTU News / Photo credit: Police photos via KUTV News