Ute man charged for murder, kidnapping of a 5-year-old girl
WHITE MESA, Utah – A Ute man is facing felony charges after stealing a truck, kidnapping a girl, and killing her in a crash.
In unsealed federal court documents, 28-year-old Qwana McCook stole a truck with a 5-year-old girl inside it on the morning of May 8, 2022.
The girl’s mother was on the Ute Moutain Ute reservation in White Mesa as she placed the girl and her 8-year-old son in the truck before saying goodbye to her sister in a house.
As she was saying goodbye, the son ran into the house and said, “Momma, the guys are taking the truck.”
The mother walked outside and witnessed McCook in the driver’s seat while a second man, Augustine Yellow, 22 , was in the passager seat.
She attempted to stop McCook from taking the car, saying, “Hey, would you doing? Lilly is back there.” McCook responded by hitting the mother’s face, and she fell to the ground.
McCook and Yellow took the truck with the girl, and their location was unknown for about two and half hours, according to federal court documents.
Local authorities were notified, and an Amber Alert was prepared, but at around 9:46 a.m., police received a call of a truck rollover near Cahone Mesa in the Navajo Nation.
Police arrived and confirmed that it was the truck that McCook and Yellow stole. The 5-year-old girl was found dead at the scene after being ejected from the car.
McCook was arrested in Farmington, New Mexico, on May 27th. He is facing kidnapping while in Indian Country, two counts of felony first-degree murder while in Indian Country, and robbery while in Indian Country.
Yellow accepted a plea agreement with federal authorities and corroborated the events in the court documents. He is charged with a count of misprision of a felony.
McCook has a jury trial scheduled for August 30 in Utah, but the deadline for a plea agreement is set for August 9.
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