An Iron County man who's actions prompted an Amber Alert Monday evening has been officially charged in connection with the event. John Alvin Coltharp, 33, of Spring City, has been charged with child kidnapping, a first-degree felony. Additionally, he faces charges of obstruction of justice by harboring or concealing a person, a class A misdemeanor.
Coltharp's four children, ranging in ages from 4-8, vanished in September shortly before his then-wife officially filed for divorce. The woman had filed for a restraining order fearing that her and the children would "suffer immediate and irreparable harm" if they continued to be with their father. However, Coltharp had managed to sneak away to an unknown location, with all of his children and his parents in tow. His estranged wife told police he is a "doomsday prepper who believes the world will soon come to an end," prompting them to fear that he would be extremely well hidden and difficult to find.
According to court records it was believed that Coltharp was living in the Cedar City area with Samuel Warren Schaffer, a self-proclaimed prophet of the religious sect "Knights of the Crystal Blade." Coltharp was arrested Friday on investigation of kidnapping, but refused to cooperate with police in locating his missing children. However, the man's two sons were found safe following a raid by Iron County sheriff's deputies on a compound on Monday. The absence of the two girls prompted an Amber Alert to be issued, but were found later that evening.
Shaffer, 34, has also been arrested, however formal charges are still pending.
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