UPDATE: Stolen Clearfield dog found safe and sound in homeless camp

Jul 27, 2023, 10:38 AM | Updated: Jul 29, 2023, 2:16 pm

UPDATE: Missing canine Reo was found safe and reunited with his human Saturday after he was taken in a carjacking. Clearfield police said he was located at a camp with people living on the street in Salt Lake City.

Family members of the victim indicated the dog was dropped off by the arrested suspect, Melissa Rush, at the street camp, according to a press release. The dog’s caretakers reportedly had no idea the dog was stolen and that they took care of the dog while in their company.

The family said the dog, Reo, was reunited with his owner without issue, and is safe, healthy, and reunited with the victim.

The original story continues below.

SALT LAKE CITY — Police have arrested a woman accused of stealing a Clearfield woman’s car with her dog still inside.

Officers arrested 31-year-old Melissa Rush in connection to the theft. Officers said Reo was not found in the abandoned vehicle.

It started Sunday when 74-year-old Dee Thorell stopped at a gas station for a soda.

She left her car running with the doors locked and air conditioning on for her brown and white Shih Tzu, Reo.

While in the Maverik, police say Rush approached Thorell and took the key fob that was in her pocket. Rush then ran to the parking lot and entered the car, according to court documents.

Thorell attempted to stop Rush but fell when Rush put the car in reverse. Police said Thorell suffered a broken arm, bruising, and lacerations as she was dragged across the parking lot.

On Wednesday, officers received reports from a passerby that Rush was in West Haven. According to court documents, Rush and a man hid in a large industrial area while police actively searched for them. Police went to Rush’s home later in the day and saw her and the man running upstairs after they knocked on the door. She was arrested after a search warrant was obtained and executed, according to Clearfield police.

Reo could really be anywhere between Davis County where the car was stolen to Salt Lake where it was found, even to Ogden, where Rush was arrested.

“So it’s a little scary, it’s a lot scary actually for me. I miss him terribly and I’m sure he misses us,” Thorell said Thursday. “And we’ve hit all the shelters. We’ve put up flyers where we’re doing what we can do and I think this is the best way to inform people that we’re looking for him.”

Andrea Wilden, Thorell’s daughter said the arrest happened after tips came to her through social media and a woman who spotted and started following Rush in Ogden. That woman even recorded a few videos.

Wilden said, “And they’re giving me exact addresses of where she’s moving.”

Her arrest isn’t providing a whole lot of relief, not without Reo.

“There was no trace of him in the apartment at all. They searched the apartment and there was no sign that the dog had even been there,” Wilden said.

And that’s why they’re hoping another ongoing stream of tips will eventually lead to Reo.

“It’s mind-blowing. I think it’s just hit the public in a different way,” she said.

The family said Reo is typically friendly and responds to his name.

If you might have information to help find him, you can reach out to the Clearfield Police Department at 801-525-2806.

Rush was booked into the Davis County Jail on felony charges of robbery, theft and aggravated assault, misdemeanor car burglary charges and trespassing.

“It’s awful, it’s really awful! I just hope he’s safe somewhere,” Thorell said. “I just want him home safe and sound.”

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UPDATE: Stolen Clearfield dog found safe and sound in homeless camp