DOJ Utah releases information on man charged in death of kidnapped child

Photo: Pixabay

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 29, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Department of Justice, Utah District, has released information on the man charged with kidnapping and causing the death of a 5-year-old girl taken from her home on the White Mesa Ute Reservation and Navajo Nation in San Juan County.

Quana McCook, 28, a member of the Mountain Ute Tribe and White Mesa resident, has been charged by a federal grand jury with four crimes: two counts of first-degree felony murder, and one count each of kidnapping and theft.

“According to a complaint filed by federal prosecutors, McCook and 22-year-old Augustus Yellow of White Mesa allegedly approached a truck with two children inside of it that was warming up in front of a residence in White Mesa while the mother of the children went back inside of the residence to say goodbye to a relative,” says a statement released by the DOJ Utah.

“The older of the two children ran into the residence to warn his mother that McCook and Yellow were allegedly stealing the truck while the 5-year-old child was still in the vehicle. The mother of the two children then ran to McCook, who was allegedly in the driver’s seat, and warned McCook that her child was still in the backseat of the truck. McCook then allegedly assaulted the mother of the children by striking her in the face when she tried to stop McCook from taking the truck.

“McCook and Yellow then allegedly stole the truck with the child in it and their whereabouts were unknown for two and a half hours until the rollover of the truck was reported near Cohone Mesa on the Navajo Nation.”

Law enforcement officers then rushed to the crash site and verified that McCook and Yellow were in the truck and that the child had been ejected from the vehicle during the rollover crash. The five-year-old child was pronounced dead at the scene.

Defendant Augustus Yellow “has pleaded guilty to the felony charge of misprision of kidnapping the child involved in the fatal incident. Defendant Qwana McCook is currently being held in custody pending trial,” the statement says.

Assistant United States Attorneys from the United States Attorney’s Office are prosecuting the case. Special Agents from the FBI along with Deputies from the San Juan County Sherriff’s Office, Patrol Officers and Investigators from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Patrol Officers and Investigators from the Navajo Nation, and Officers from the Utah Highway Patrol, are conducting the investigation.

The name of the child victim has not been released.

The red pin marks the White Mesa area. Image: Google Maps

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