Missing Girls Found in Utah Storage Unit as Alleged Self-Proclaimed 'Prophet' Is Charged

The children's mother said the two girls and their two brothers were allegedly taken by their father back on Sept. 13

Four siblings who disappeared from Colorado in mid-September were found safe on Monday in Utah after allegedly spending nearly three months with the leader of a polygamist religious group.

Numerous reports have announced the recovery of the children: two girls and two boys.

The Denver Post reports that the two boys were rescued when officers allegedly raided “a compound of a polygamist cult” and that the girls — Hatti, 4, and Dina Coltharp, 8 — were found alone in a building outside the town of Lund, Utah, on Monday night.

The sons’ names have not been released.

The girls were found in a “storage receptacle,” according to CBS4, which adds authorities don’t believe the children would have survived the cold night.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Iron County Sheriff's Office

Investigators have arrested Samuel Shaffer, 34, as well as the children’s father, John Coltharp, 33.

The children’s mother, Micha Coltharp, alleged the two girls and their two brothers were taken by their father on Sept. 13. The couple had recently divorced and the mother had sole legal custody of their children.

CBS4 characterizes Shaffer as an alleged self-proclaimed “prophet” and reports that police were led to his compound after receiving an anonymous tip.

John Coltharp
Sanpete County Sheriff's Office

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that according to court records, John Coltharp allegedly believes in doomsday prophesy and that he and Schaffer founded a polygamist cult called Knights of the Crystal Blade about a year ago.

• For more compelling True Crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard.

KUTV reports John Coltharp was charged with investigation of kidnapping but the charges against Shaffer have not been released.

Both men are both being held on bail and PEOPLE could not determine if either has retained legal counsel.

Related Articles