This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A regionwide manhunt continued Thursday for a father and son suspected of being armed, high on methamphetamine and kidnapping and assaulting a Centerville woman and her four daughters.
Centerville police Lt. Von Steenblik also said that an early lead indicating that 51-year-old Flint Wayne Harrison and his son Dereck "D.J." James Harrison, 22, had fled into the heavily forested foothills between Centerville and Farmington may have been a diversion by the fugitives.
The search for the men initially focused on the foothills after family members told investigators the pair had camping equipment; then police found the Harrisons' SUV abandoned on a fire break road Wednesday afternoon.
Along with police officers on the ground, a Department of Public Safety helicopter was enlisted in a dragnet that continued into Thursday morning.
"The helicopter was up last night, using infrared [cameras] to search the entire city [of Centerville] and the foothills area," Steenblik said. "They didn't find anything."
While authorities keep an eye on the area, the search has expanded to include Utah and neighboring states, especially Wyoming, where the Harrisons have family and occupational ties.
However, special attention was being paid to the Salt Lake City area after investigators learned the pair may have been picked up between 11 p.m. and midnight by an acquaintance and driven to the Ramada Inn near 2400 South State in South Salt Lake.
"The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force had taken the lead on finding these guys, and we've notified law enforcement throughout the state and the region as well," Steenblik said.
Investigators are "putting lots of pressure" on the Harrisons' family and friends for more leads on the men's whereabouts, he added.
The men, who have been charged in 2nd District Court with 10 counts of first-degree-felony aggravated kidnapping, are considered armed and dangerous. Further, Flint Harrison allegedly has told relatives he will "go out in a blaze of glory" rather than go back to jail.
The Harrisons, who are acquaintances of the mother who was allegedly assaulted, invited her and her daughters ages 13, 15, 17 and 18 to a barbecue at a residence near 200 North and 700 East, according to Steenblik.
At about 6 p.m. Tuesday, the woman and her daughters arrived and were invited to the basement, charges state.
Dereck Harrison, carrying a shotgun, ordered them to get on the floor, charges state. The females did not take him seriously and went back upstairs, where Flint Harrison, carrying a baseball bat, forced them back to the basement by prodding and jabbing them with the bat.
Once on their knees, the victims' hands were bound behind their backs and their feet were tied.
Flint Harrison put duct tape over the mother's mouth and a bag over her head, charges state.
All five females tried to break their bonds and flee. The men grabbed two of them, but two girls ran to a closed garage, where one them called 911 before Flint Harrison took the phone away, charges state.
When Flint held a gun to the 18-year-old's throat, she slapped it away and ran. Meanwhile, the 17-year-old got the bat and struck Dereck Harrison, charges state. The mother and girls, bruised by blows, escaped and called for help from neighbors.
The motive for the abduction and assaults, Steenblik said Thursday, appeared to have been meth-fueled paranoia that the mother had informed police of their drug activities.
In fact, Steenblik said, neither of the men had been subjects of an active drug investigation. "This appears to have been a misguided belief that she had turned them in," Steenblik said.
In addition to the kidnapping charges, the Harrisons each were charged with one count of second-degree-felony possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, and misdemeanor counts of drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and damage or interruption of a communication device.
No-bail warrants were issued for each of the men.
Flint Harrison has prior Utah convictions for two counts of third-degree-felony attempted forcible sexual abuse. After pleading guilty in 2001, he was placed on probation, which included nine months in the Davis County jail. Two counts of third-degree-felony unlawful sexual activity with a minor were dismissed as part of a plea deal.
A tip line has been set up for any information on the Harrisons' whereabouts: 801-335-8844