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Iron County girls abducted and hidden from law enforcement found cold but safe

Iron County girls abducted and hidden from law enforcement found cold but safe (Family photo)

(KUTV)- Mid 20 degree temperatures with wind chill made for a long and concerning day for law enforcement as they searched for 4-year-old Hattie Colthrap and her older sister, 8-year-old Dinah Colthrap.

Both girls were last seen at a religious use compound in Iron county, just a few miles away from the town of Lund.

Lt. Del Schlosser, with Iron County Sheriffs office, tells 2News that the suspect, Samuel Shaffer, 34, took off with both the 4 & 8-year-old and his own two daughters Sunday and hadn't been seen since.

"This afternoon we were able to locate…[Shaffer]. We had an individual call us, we believe it was through the Amber alert that was put out, and along with that we located the subject." Schlosser said.

But there was a problem, along side Shaffer were his daughters but the Colthrap sisters were nowhere to be seen.

"An intense search took place after that trying to locate the other two that he had kept away from the other two and we were able to locate them." Schlosser said.

After sending K-9 units, four helicopters and numerous deputies out searching the Lund/Iron County area the Colthrap sisters were found inside a structure.

"He was trying to hide the girls." Schlosser said "He did not want them to be found by law-enforcement.

Reporter D.J. Bolerjack asked Schlosser, "What's the reasoning behind that?"

Schlosser replied: "I don't know at this point."

Schlosser said if the girls weren't found tonight there may have been a possibility that they wouldn't be alive in the morning.

"Given the cold conditions we had today...the high today has been 38° these kids were not dressed in anyway shape or form for the conditions today." Schlosser said and he believes the Amber Alert saves these girls.

"Getting It out to the media... and out to the public saved these girls lives. If we hadn't received that tip today these girls probably wouldn't be alive in the morning."

Shaffer has been arrested, is being questioned by detectives and faces numerous kidnapping charges and the four girls and safe.

"Their spirits are getting better and they're very talkative. They're very cute girls...happy to see this ending with them." Schlosser said.

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