Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Police are looking for 15-month-old Sophea Larsen who was last seen with her homeless father, Jamie Webb.
Unified Police find missing Utah toddler
Fugitive father » Detectives seek homeless man who last had the 15-month-old girl.
First Published May 07 2014 07:04 am • Last Updated May 07 2014 08:16 pm

Unified Police have found a missing 15-month-old girl they have been searching for over the past two days.

Sophea Larsen was dropped off at the child’s grandfather’s home, and he contacted police.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Police first became involved after a 3rd District Court "writ of assistance" was issued last week, ordering law enforcement agencies to assist in seeing that Sophea be restored to the custody of her mother, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.

On Tuesday, UPD officers in Taylorsville located 39-year-old Jamie Webb, the homeless biological father of the child. However, when officers approached Webb to serve him with the court custody order, he fled on foot, abandoning his car.

Webb managed to elude police. A subsequent search of his vehicle, a 2003 model white Oldsmobile Bravada, failed to turn up any clues to the girl’s whereabouts.

Since that foot pursuit, a missing and endangered child alert went out and between 30 and 60 officers were tracking down leads in the case, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said in a Wednesday afternoon press conference. UPD and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were involved in finding Webb, who has not been located.

"In these situations we can vilify people; I want to thank the gentleman for dropping the child off," Winder said. "But if Mr. Webb is watching, we need to talk to you and we will talk to you and resolve this in a civil and rational way."

Winder said Sophea had been at several different locations over the past three months — when her mother had legal custody but she was with her father. Webb’s relatives told police they didn’t realize the girl’s father wasn’t supposed to have her, and they cooperated as soon as they learned otherwise, Winder said.

Sophea appeared to be in good condition during the press conference.

On March 17, a warrant was issued for Webb’s arrest in connection with the alleged choking of the child’s mother on Feb. 18 at a West Valley City residence; Webb then took the toddler with him. The $50,000 warrant alleges third-degree felony offenses of aggravated assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child, according to 3rd District Court records.

story continues below
story continues below

Court information describes Webb as the girl’s biological father. Other court documents show that Webb and the girl’s mother had an ongoing paternity and child support dispute.

Winder said he wasn’t sure about any kind of kidnapping charges in this situation, and that his agency’s interest was in the aggravated assault charge Webb faces.


Twitter: @remims

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.