Families hope missing teen case ends this week, maybe Wednesday

Photo: Ogden Police Department

OGDEN, Utah, March 20, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — The near three-week ordeal of the families involved with a missing 15-year-old could end this week.

Janessa Boney, of Ogden, and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Andrew Shutt, Bountiful, have not been heard from since March 3, according to family members who have mounted a Facebook campaign to locate her.

Janessa in her last online message Mar. 3, sounding forlorn, laments “there’s no place for me” in the family, to her aunt Kirstie Pilcher, who has become the online spokesman in the search.

The 15-year-old while seemingly saying goodbye, also says “I’m only going to be gone for a while” and “everything will be fine.” The text came around 8:30 a.m., some five hours after she and Shutt left the area.

Police are hamstrung since there appears to be no evidence her departure wasn’t consensual. The Ogden Police Department has published an alert on social media as something of a public service announcement although the case is still classified as a runaway, not a kidnapping.

The pair is believed to have traveled south, possibly even leaving the state, from some of their texts prior to Mar. 3. Which also indicate they share depressed moods, concerning to family members, who have posted some of those texts reluctantly. “We haven’t wanted to post any of the conversations between Janessa and Andrew but it seems some people don’t believe they may be in danger,” Pilcher said.

The family has created the “Find Janessa Boney” page on Facebook. The St. George police posted an alert Mar. 16 similar to OPD’s: “There have been a few reported, but unconfirmed sightings of Jannesa (sic) in southern Utah. Please continue to keep a look out for her and call police with any information @ 435-627-4300. Thank you!”

OPD asks anyone with information to call 801-629-8228, the detective’s division, or dispatch at 801-395-8221, and refer to case no. 23G15821. Her case has also been entered into the database for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1-800-843-5678.

The wild card in the prolonged painful drama is Shutt’s Jan. 19 arrest.

He is charged on multiple counts including felonies after a high-speed chase out of Morgan that ended when he lost control of his vehicle on the Riverdale I-84 off-ramp. He was alone in the car and no injuries resulted.

Speeds topped 105 mph after he fled a Morgan County Sheriff’s deputy’s traffic stop over a bad headlight on his vehicle, according to¬† 2nd District Court charging documents. Officers seized marijuana, paraphernalia and a firearm found in the front seat console, which he admitted were his, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The family has mentioned Shutt’s arrest in the Facebook campaign, noting he may be armed. Shutt’s case is filed in Morgan, and he has made all his appearances in court as required to date, according to court records, his last hearing Feb. 8. He was released on $10,000 bail by Jan. 21.

His next court date is a status conference Wednesday. Mar. 22.

“Yes we do plan to attend,” Pilcher said. As does Shutt’s family, who arranged his bail, she said, the families in contact with each other and working together to get the pair home.

Boney is 5-foot-3, 115 pounds. She may be wearing a black tank top or crop top adorned with skeletons, black sweat pants and black-and-white Converse tennis shoes. She left home with a beige or brown hoodie. Her right nostril and upper lip are pierced and she has a smiley face tattoo on her ankle.

Shutt is 5-foot-11, 15 pounds, with nose and ear piercings and a rose tattoo on his right forearm. He may be dressed in black clothing and shoes.

They are believed to be traveling in a gold or brown Chevy Tahoe with temporary tags and a sticker in the back window of a grenade with the words “Ford Repair Kit.”

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