PARK CITY — An Amber Alert initially issued Tuesday afternoon for a 6-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted by her father in Park City was canceled by 4:30 p.m. and it was tips from the public, as well as coordination between police agencies, that led to the child’s safe return.
Officials said Mark Anthony Delgado, the child’s father but not legal guardian, was taken into custody in Taylorsville, where the missing 6-year-old girl was found.
The young girl was taken intentionally by Delgado, the child’s estranged father, officials said. He allegedly abducted his daughter from her mother after authorities say he wanted to “get back together to work out their relationship,” Summit County Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright wrote in a news release.
Delgado initially picked up the girl and her mother from South Dakota and had brought the pair to stay with a friend in Summit County while the couple worked to reconcile their relationship, authorities said.
About 8 a.m. Tuesday, Delgado left the friend’s home with the girl to run errands in a borrowed vehicle, Wright said; however, the pair never returned and the child’s mother later received a Facebook message from Delgado saying he was taking the young girl to Los Angeles to get back at the mother for “making him suffer” by “not seeing their child for the past four years,” Wright said.
Delgado does not have legal custody of the child, according to a court order from the Indian Child Welfare Division out of South Dakota, which says the child’s grandmother was granted temporary custody in August 2019.
Summit County sheriff’s officials said its office had “reason to believe the child was abducted by the father and is in imminent danger.”
AMBER ALERT 🚨 Summit County, Utah – On October 6, 2020, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office issued an Amber Alert for…
Ultimately, it was tips and information from the public that led police to finding the child safe, Wright said.
Utah authorities alerted South Dakota officials about the situation. As of Tuesday evening, the 6-year-old was safe and playing with detectives while the situation was sorted out.
Unified Police Sgt. Melody Cutler said the agency was getting multiple calls from people reporting the vehicle had been spotted in the Kearns area.
Officers were able to find the vehicle abandoned at a car wash near 40th West and 5400 South in Taylorsville.
Witnesses reported seeing people leave the vehicle and get onto a bus in the area.
Officers tracked that bus down at about 4700 South and 40th West and took three adults into custody and found the young girl safe.
As of Tuesday night, no arrests had been made and authorities are investigating the incident.
“Anytime we have a situation like this, that need to find the children is amplified, they’re innocent victims and we want to make sure that we get them back before any harm comes to them,” Cutler said.
“Between good officers out there, being aware, and trying to track down this individual and witnesses who provided great information to Unified police on the bus information, we were able to first and foremost get the child into safe custody,” Wright added.
Contributing: Frances Cook, KSL TV