Four girls in total rescued from ‘deplorable conditions’ after Iron County Amber Alert

Southern Utah

**Warning the following story contains graphic content**

IRON COUNTY (ABC4 Utah)- ABC4 is learning more about the discovery of the two girls involved in the Amber Alert case Monday.

Court documents say four girls in total were found with Samuel Warren Shaffer, the man police say was last to see the missing sisters Dinah and Hattie Coltharp.

After an extensive search local law enforcement say they found Shaffer walking alone on a dirt road just before 5:30 p.m. Monday. He told officers where the missing sisters were. Inside a blue plastic 50 gallon water barrel documents say police found Hattie and another young girl believed to be the biological daughter of Shaffer.

“The children had been placed into the water barrel to conceal or hide them from being found,” court papers said. “[They] spent an estimated 24 hours inside the barrel in sub-freezing temperatures.” 

The girls were found with no food or water and were improperly dressed, documents say. 

The two other girls, Dinah and Shaffer’s other biological daughter, were found in an abandoned single wide mobile home. The conditions of the mobile home were “deplorable” and the girls had signs of dehydration and were in poor health, the court papers said.

All four of the young girls were transported to local hospitals for care.

Shaffer is in custody at Iron County Jail. Wednesday he was officially charged  with two counts of kidnapping and four charges of child abuse. 

John Coltharp, the biological father of Hattie and Dinah (the two girls in the original Amber Alert) was charged Tuesday with one count of child kidnapping and obstruction of justice after charging documents say he refused to tell officer where the children were.

He is booked into Sanpete County Jail.

It is believed Schaffer and John are members of a new church in the Iron County area. Court documents say the church is an LDS offshoot that follows fundamental doctrines. Police say Shaffer was the leader of the sect referred to as the “Knights of the Crystal Blade” but turned leadership over to John Coltharp.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the children in the Coltharp family, if you would like to make a donation click here

If you suspect child abuse or neglect is occurring, call the Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline 855.323.3237.

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