Overcast 36° Good Evening
Overcast 36° Good Evening

Dad, son wanted in Utah kidnapping hid in Wyoming wilderness

Flint Wayne Harrison, left, and Dereck James Harrison,

Flint Wayne Harrison, left, and Dereck James Harrison, right, are accused of luring a woman and her four teenage daughters to a Utah house and tying them up are both in custody in Wyoming. Photo Credit: AP

SALT LAKE CITY - A five-day manhunt for a father and son accused of tying up a woman and her four teenage daughters in a Utah basement ended this weekend near a makeshift campsite at the base of rugged Wyoming mountains.

The pair had holed up in sleeping bags for the last day or two in a forest where temperatures dip into the 20s at night and nearby peaks are still snowy, authorities said. They had about a day's worth of food and water.

In a bizarre twist after days on the run, the father surrendered because he said he grew concerned about the behavior of his armed son and helped police track the 22-year-old to their remote hideout.

Flint Wayne Harrison, 51, and Dereck James "DJ" Harrison were expected at an extradition hearing Monday in Wyoming. They were charged with 16 counts each in Utah, including kidnapping and drug possession.

Police say the case emerged from paranoia. The Harrisons had been using methamphetamine heavily when they lured the woman and her daughters to a home and beat them with a baseball bat, police said.

The Harrisons falsely suspected the mother had reported them to authorities, said police Lt. Von Steenblik of Centerville, Utah, about 14 miles north of Salt Lake City.

The younger Harrison was a close friend of the woman's family, often visiting their home for dinner or picking the girls up from school. The teens, aged 13 to 18, thought of him like a stepbrother, Steenblik said.

Flint Harrison lives in Wyoming but was visiting his son when they invited the family to a barbecue. The women thought it was a strange joke when the Harrisons tied them up with zip ties but began to break free when the father hit the mother with the bat, according to charging documents.

In the struggle that followed, one girl slapped away a shotgun pointed at her throat and another grabbed the bat and hit the son, police said. All five ran from the house, and one of the girls called police.

Her voice was so panicked that it was intelligible at first on a recording of the 911 call released Monday.

"They had a gun, they tied us up in the basement!" she screamed. "My mom's eye is bleeding ... It's bad. It's really bad."

The Harrisons drove away before officers arrived Tuesday. They got a ride to Salt Lake City, where they stayed at a hotel and then with a friend nearby. They made their way 250 miles north to Wyoming, perhaps getting another ride from someone else, police said.

The break in the case came when Flint Harrison turned himself in Saturday morning. He told authorities he did it because his son was acting strangely and was armed with two rifles, one a high-powered hunting weapon, Steenblik said.

From a search helicopter, Flint Harrison pointed police to their remote camp, but the younger Harrison was already gone. Authorities evacuated several nearby campsites as Dereck Harrison hid among the trees and brush.

Police picked up the younger Harrison on Saturday night after he was spotted walking down a road north of the city of Pinedale, Sublette County sheriff's Sgt. Katherine Peterson said. He wore only a light jacket in the cold and surrendered without incident.

He was not armed, and police are looking for weapons and investigating what Flint Harrison told police.

The case got even stranger when Dereck Harrison's mother arrived at the sheriff's office near Pinedale to help her son and was arrested on a parole violation. Maryann Dalrymple Harrison said she drove from Utah with $10,000 cash to bail out her son or get him a lawyer.

Maryann Harrison, who was once married to Flint Harrison, is on parole after serving about three years in prison on forgery and robbery charges, authorities said.

Police were concerned she might help her son evade capture and arrested her. She had ignored her parole officer's warning not to leave Utah, Steenblik said.

She also will face the extradition hearing Monday. No lawyers have yet been listed for the family.

News Photos and Videos