SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A father and son who lured a woman and her four teenage daughters to a Utah house and tied them up in the basement before the victims escaped were paranoid after using methamphetamine, police said Thursday as a two-state manhunt for the suspects dragged into a third day.
Investigators believe Flint Wayne Harrison, 51, and his son, Dereck James "DJ" Harrison, 22, had been using the drug heavily over the last few days and gotten the false idea that the mother had reported them to authorities, Centerville police Lt. Von Steenblik said.
The younger Harrison was a close friend of the woman's family who often came over for dinner or picked the girls up from school. The teens, aged 13 to 18, had known him for several years.
"They kind of considered him like a stepbrother," Steenblik said.
When they first saw duct tape and zip ties laid out in the basement Tuesday, they thought the whole thing was a joke, he said.
But when the elder Harrison hit the woman with a baseball bat, the teens began breaking their zip ties and trying to escape, according to charging documents.
In the ensuing struggle, one girl slapped away a shotgun pointed at her throat and another grabbed the bat and hit the son, police say.
All five women managed to get away and run from the house. The mother and one daughter were treated at a hospital for their injuries.
The Harrisons drove away in a Chevrolet Suburban with Wyoming plates but later abandoned the car and got picked up by someone who took them to Salt Lake City, where they spent Tuesday night in a hotel.
U.S. marshals and a state helicopter equipped with infrared technology helped with the search stretching over at least two states.
Flint Harrison is a registered sex offender who lives in Pinedale, Wyoming. His wife told police he would rather shoot officers and "go out in a blaze of glory," than be sent back to prison, according to charging documents.
Flint and DJ Harrison were charged Wednesday with 16 counts, including aggravated kidnapping and possession of a controlled substance.