Update: Salt Lake County resident reports possible sighting of runaway teens

Leah Douglas (left), Nicole "Nic" Thornton (right), and Sitara Chavez (right). Photos Courtesy: Duchesne County Sheriff's Office
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DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah, Feb. 25, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Salt Lake County resident has reported a possible sighting of two of the three teens who ran away from a residential treatment center near Roosevelt in the early hours of Monday morning.

The Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release all three teens are residents of Cedar Ridge Academy at 4270 W. 5625 North. The center’s staff contacted the sheriff’s office about 1 a.m. Monday to report that the teens had run away.

Officials then called out members of its search and rescue team at 3 p.m. Monday to assist with the ongoing search for the three teenagers, said a news release from the sheriff’s office.

A follow-up news release from the sheriff’s office Tuesday morning said the following:

“The Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to look for Leah Douglas, Nicole ‘Nic’ Thornton and Sitara Chavez. There was a possible sighting of two of the girls in Salt Lake County on Monday afternoon. Duchesne County sheriff’s detectives are checking out the details provided by the person who said he had contact with the girls.

“The Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter flew over the search area in Duchesne County last night using a forward-looking infrared camera system, but did not locate the girls.”

Officials are searching for:

  • Leah Douglas, 14, who was last seen wearing a green shirt with the words “Cedar Ridge” on it. She is 4 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 105 pounds.
  • Nicole “Nic” Thornton, 16, who was last seen wearing a red sweater with the words “Cedar Ridge” on it. She is 5 feet 3 inches tall and about 150 pounds.
  • Sitara Chavez, 16, who is 5 feet 4 inches tall and about 115 pounds. She was last seen wearing a blue sweater with the words “Cedar Ridge” on it.

The news release added: “To Leah, Nic and Sitara: If you see this post, please call the sheriff’s office or central dispatch to let us know you are safe.”

The sheriff’s office is following up on all leads and tips in this case, the Tuesday news release said. Anyone that sees the girls or has any contact with them is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 435-738-2015 or central dispatch at 435-789-4222.


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