Early on Friday morning, a man entered a family’s home and attempted to kidnap the family’s 5-year-old daughter from her bed.
Police Sgt. Dean Carriger said that the suspect entered the home through an unlocked door at about 4:30 a.m. in Sandy, a middle-class suburb south of Salt Lake City.
The intruder, who has been identified as Troy Morley of Roy, Utah, was searching through the family’s basement when he came across the young girl sleeping in her bedroom, said Carriger. Morley then took her out of bed; while he was carrying her upstairs, he made noises that awoke the parents.
When the girl’s father went to the door, he allegedly saw Morley carrying his daughter on the front lawn. He then ran outside, asked the man what he was doing, and demanded that he give back his little girl.
Carriger said that the suspect handed the girl over to her father without confrontation, and then fled.
The father called 911. Officers set up a perimeter, and, with the help of police dogs, launched a search.
The 48-year-old suspect was captured after entering a second home through a doggy door as he attempted to evade the police. The dogs at that house alerted the residents, who in turn yelled at police already in the area to come get him.
Thanks to a police dog that bit the suspect in the upper shoulder, Carriger said police were able to catch Morley outside of the second home.
Yahoo News reports that Morley was arrested and is being booked on charges of child kidnapping, burglary, trespassing and resisting arrest.
The family told police that they have never seen and don’t know the suspect; police do not know why the suspect was in the house or if he had planned his actions.
Carriger said that the family is doing fairly well in light of the traumatizing incident, which brings back memories of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapping out of her Salt Lake City bedroom in 2002. Smart was held captive for nine months before she was found.
“If those parents were not awakened to go out and investigate, he could have easily left undetected with the girl,” said Carriger.
Sandy is a city of 90,000 people and is predominantly Mormon.
“Things like that just don’t happen around here,” said Melissa Johnson, 26, who is staying with her parents, who live next door the scene of the attempted abduction.
Yahoo News reports that the 5-year-old girl was not harmed.
Photo Source: Associated Press