Utah mom who police say fled with 4-year-old son in defiance of court order arrested in Wyoming

Image: Lincoln County (Wyoming) Jail; Google Maps

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah, April 8, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A mother who fled with her 4-year-old son in alleged defiance of a court custody decree has been arrested and the child recovered by authorities in Wyoming.

South Ogden police had arrived at the home of 37-year-old Taryn Pearce Monday to enforce the court order which awarded custody of 4-year-old Wyatt Pearce to his father, only to find she had fled with the child.

Detectives detained the woman’s boyfriend, Christopher Merino, and said they learned he was actively involved in the kidnapping, and ongoing hiding of 4-year-old Wyatt. Merino gave detectives a name and location in Salt Lake County, police said.

In pursuing those leads, detectives learned Taryn Pearce had made it to an address in La Barge, Wyoming. Law Enforcement from the La Barge Police Department and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in Wyoming were contacted, police said.

Coordinated efforts located Taryn Pearce and Wyatt, and Taryn was taken into custody without incident, and booked into the Lincoln County Jail for child kidnapping, a first-degree felony which carries a possible 5-years-to-life prison term. She will be extradited back to Utah. Merino was also arrested Friday and faces the same charge.

As originally ordered by Ogden 2nd District Court, the child will be released to his father, once he arrives in La Barge. The child is in good health, according to a press release from South Ogden police.

No other arrests are pending. SOPD Det. Brian Hough issued a thank you to the public for providing information, and to Wyoming law enforcement for locating the young boy.


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