Two men involved with a doomsday sect based out of southern Utah are now under suspicion of marrying each other's underage daughters. Samuel Warren Shaffer and John Alvin Coltharp, both 34, are already facing charges of child kidnapping in connection with an Amber Alert issued late last year. Investigators now say that Shaffer had told police he was "betrothed" to Coltharp's 8-year-old daughter, and Coltharp was likewise "betrothed" to Shaffer's 7-year-old daughter. The pair were members of an LDS offshoot that believed the end of the world was upon mankind, with Shaffer being the self-appointed "prophet" of the organization.
The pair is already facing several charges. Coltharp has been charged with sodomy, as well as child kidnapping, both of which are considered to be first-degree felonies. He faces additional charges of obstructing justice by concealing a person, a class A misdemeanor.
Meanwhile Shaffer has been charged with two counts of child kidnapping of child kidnapping, a first-degree felony; and four counts of intentional child abuse causing injury, a second-degree felony.
Public domain photo