CRIME

Three people attempted to kidnap child with one posing a social worker, police report.

May 17, 2024, 6:28 PM

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

FILE - Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

VERNAL — Three people planned to kidnap a child, claiming the father did not have legal custody of them, Vernal police say.

On May 15 at approximately 11 a.m., Vernal dispatch received a phone call from a property manager who said a man and woman were knocking on one of his empty properties, according to the court affidavit.

The manager told dispatch that the man said he was a “social worker and was there to remove a child from the home,” according to the affidavit.

The manager said he told the man and woman that no one lived in the home anymore. The two asked where the previous residents had moved, but the manager didn’t answer, and the two left as he was calling the police.

The manager told police that the man and woman were traveling in a white Jeep Renegade SUV.

Visiting the wife’s business

An hour later, the man and woman entered the business where the victim’s wife was employed and asked the on-duty supervisor for the wife, according to the affidavit.

It stated the supervisor refused to tell the two where the wife was and began to contact her about the two looking for her. The victim was told about the man and woman looking for him and his wife and contacted police.

Police said the man and woman were seen driving the same white Jeep the property manager reported and were seen watching the business from a parking lot across the street.

Confrontation at the victim’s home

At 10 p.m., the victim heard a loud knock at his front door but could not answer it, the affidavit stated. He heard another knock and found the man and woman inside his home. The victim told his wife to take their child to the bathroom and call 911.

According to the affidavit, the man and the victim were both armed with a handgun, and the three began to argue inside the home. When police arrived, the man and woman attempted to flee through the front door.

The affidavit stated the man pointed his gun toward two officers, and he and the woman went back into the victim’s home, causing the victim to fire a single shot into the wall.

According to the affidavit, a man and woman ran through the house and fled through the rear door. As the woman exited, she picked up a large metal briefcase.

“They were again met by multiple officers and surrendered to them. The male and female were taken into custody and the male’s handgun was recovered,” the affidavit stated.

Officers also noticed a second woman inside the white Jeep and detained her while they investigated, according to the affidavit.

Claims of custodianship over child

The man and two women told police that the child they were looking for belonged to the victim and his ex-wife. The three said the victim was not supposed to have the child.

According to the affidavit, the court awarded the victim full custody of his child. The man and two women indicated to police they disagreed with the court’s decision. During the interviews, police discovered that the three had been planning to travel to Vernal and kidnap the child for a couple of weeks.

According to the police affidavits, Kaitlyn Anne Bachman, 24, Ty Lucero Whetten, 36, and Beth Marilyn Marie Schardine, 33, were booked into the Uintah County Jail on a first-degree felony charge of aggravated kidnapping.

Whetten was booked on additional charges of felony aggravated assault and aggravated burglary and a misdemeanor charge of impersonating a public servant. Bachman was booked with an additional felony charge of burglary of a dwelling.

Police did not report if the victim’s ex-wife was one of the women arrested or her relationship to the three.

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Three people attempted to kidnap child with one posing a social worker, police report.