- Associated Press - Monday, May 16, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Authorities spent days searching for a father and son accused of trapping a mother and her four teenage daughters in a Utah basement.

They finally got a break over the weekend when the father walked away from a campsite at the base of a Wyoming mountain range.

Flint Wayne Harrison, 51, told police he turned himself in because he was worried about the increasingly bizarre behavior of his son, who was armed with two rifles, including a high-powered hunting weapon.

The father then helped police track 22-year-old Dereck James “DJ” Harrison to the remote site where the pair had holed up in sleeping bags on the ground as temperatures dipped below freezing at night.

Police were investigating how the men traveled the 250 miles from Salt Lake City to the remote area near Pinedale, Wyoming.

In a bizarre twist, a sheriff in Wyoming said they’re looking at whether the men used a truck from a maintenance worker who disappearance around the same time. Utah police said they haven’t found any evidence that the two cases are linked.

Both suspects declined Monday to be immediately extradited to Utah, where they have been charged with 16 counts each, including kidnapping and drug possession.

Police say the Harrisons had been using methamphetamine heavily when they lured a woman and her daughters to a home on May 10 and beat them with a baseball bat in Centerville, Utah, near Salt Lake City.

The Harrisons falsely suspected the mother had reported them to authorities, said Centerville police Lt. Von Steenblik.

The younger Harrison was a close friend of the family, Steenblik said.

Flint Harrison is a registered sex offender who lives in Wyoming and was visiting his son when they invited the family to a barbecue.

The females were then bound with zip ties and broke free when Flint Harrison hit the mother with the bat and they fought their way out, authorities said.

When one teenager called police, her voice was so panicked that it was initially intelligible on a 911 call released Monday.

“They had a gun, they tied us up in the basement!” she screamed. “My mom’s eye is bleeding … It’s bad. It’s really bad.”

Utah police believe they got a ride from someone and had been at the Wyoming camp for a day or so when Flint Harrison left and pointed out the site from a search helicopter. The younger Harrison was hiding among trees and brush as authorities evacuated nearby campsites.

Police picked him up Saturday night after he was spotted walking down a road north of Pinedale, Sublette County sheriff’s Sgt. Katherine Peterson said. Dereck Harrison was unarmed and wearing only a light jacket in the cold. He surrendered without incident.

“We really can’t trust Flint, what he’s saying, and DJ is not talking at all,” Steenblik said.

Dereck Harrison’s mother later arrived at the sheriff’s office to help her son and was arrested on a parole violation. Maryann Dalrymple Harrison said she drove from Utah with $10,000 cash to bail out her son or get him a lawyer.

She was once married to Flint Harrison and she was on parole after serving about three years in prison on forgery and robbery charges, authorities said.

She had ignored her parole officer’s warning not to leave Utah, Steenblik said.

She agreed to be extradited on Monday. No lawyers have yet been listed for the family.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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