IRON COUNTY (ABC4 News) – Body camera footage released Tuesday from the Utah Highway Patrol shows the moments UHP trooper Adam Gibbs rescued two young California children from their alleged kidnapper in Southern Utah.
Joshua Adle, 24, is accused of taking 20-month-old Darla Yonko and her 8-month-old sister Emma Yonko, his non-biological children, from their home in Riverside, Calif. on July 30, without their mother’s permission after a fight with her.
Riverside Police and the FBI put out an alert to Utah Highway Patrol, pinging the suspect’s cell phone and tracing the family to Southern Utah.
The two young children were found safe August 1. Trooper Gibbs said he was patrolling I-15 near Cedar City when he noticed a van with California plates and recognized the suspects inside.
“It was lucky. I was able to be at the right place at the right time,” the Trooper told reporters August 2 during a news conference.
Gibbs initiated a traffic stop by himself and arrested Adle, along with his parents Frank Marks and Angela Yonko, without incident, and the suspects were taken to the Iron County Jail.
“He did a fantastic job,” said Captain Jeff Nigbur, Utah Highway Patrol.
Nigbur said being able to find these suspects was a “needle in a haystack” because they ditched the blue Cadillac they were last seen in, for a white Dodge Caravan they rented somewhere along the way.
“Out of the thousands and millions of cars that travel that road even in an hours time frame, it’s just amazing for Trooper Adam to spot that and put two and two together and notice the suspicious activity and pull up next there and positively identify him,” said Nigbur.
Adle remains in custody at a detention center in Riverside, Calif, where he is scheduled to enter a plea Aug 15.
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