ST. GEORGE — A team of officers from several local police agencies as well as the U.S. Marshals Service has retrieved an abducted child and arrested his suspected kidnapper after a brief standoff in Apple Valley on Friday.
A statement from the Marshals Service said Robert Preston Crowe of San Diego, Calif., was arrested for kidnapping after they said he and the child were found at a rural campsite by members of Utah’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (VFAST).
VFAST in Southern Utah is comprised of members from the Saint George Police Department, Washington City Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Iron County Sheriff’s Department, Cedar City Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Adult Probation and Parole.
“This is an example of the benefit of the collaborative law enforcement partnerships we have, not only along the Wasatch Front but throughout the state,” the U.S. Marshal for the District of Utah, Matthew D. Harris, said. “Because of this partnership, the USMS safely returned a child to his family, and a perpetrator was arrested without incident. While the U.S. Marshals Service has many responsibilities, no mission is more important or more rewarding than helping a family reunite with a missing child.”
Investigators in California developed information that Crowe was hiding with the child near Apple Valley. The United States Marshal Service was asked to assist in looking for Crowe and the abducted child.
Using a fixed-wing aircraft, VFAST was able to identify Crowe’s vehicle at the rural campsite. The Marshal Service, and task force members from St. George Police, Washington City Police, thne Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement, Utah Highway Patrol and the Bureau of Land Management descended on the campground. State police hovered above in a helicopter keeping a close eye on the campsite.
After a brief standoff, Crowe surrendered to VFAST who surrounded the campsite. The child was also located and rescued by task force members.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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