Dad in Utah confronts would-be kidnapper, saving child
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah dad confronted a man carrying his young daughter across the lawn, foiling an attempt to kidnap the 5-year-old from her bed early Friday.
The girl wasn’t hurt, but the incident evoked echoes of the abduction of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart from her Salt Lake City bedroom in 2002.
The suspect in the latest case entered the home through an unlocked door about 4:30 a.m. in Sandy, a middle-class suburb south of Salt Lake City, police Sgt. Dean Carriger said.
The intruder was in the family’s basement searching through things when he came upon the girl sleeping in her bedroom, Carriger said. The suspect took her out of bed and carried her upstairs.
Noises awakened her parents, and the girl’s father went to the door and saw the man carrying his daughter on the front lawn. He ran outside and confronted the man, asking him what he was doing and demanding that he give back his little girl. The suspect handed her over to her father without confrontation, Carriger said.
The suspect then fled, and the father called 911.
The suspect went into a second home two blocks away through a doggy door in an attempt to evade capture. The dogs at that house alerted the residents, who yelled for police in the area to come get him.
Police captured the suspect, Troy Morley, 48, outside the second home thanks to a police dog that bit the intruder in the shoulder, Carriger said.
The family has not been named.
“It obviously was a very scary, traumatic situation,” Carriger said.