Teens who fled youth center found

Posted at 7:59 AM, Mar 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-07 07:58:18-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — All four teens who left the Genesis Youth Center in Draper without permission Tuesday night have been found.

Just shy of 24 hours after leaving the Genesis Youth Center, a minimal security juvenile work camp, a 17 year old and 18-year-old Jesse Hopkins were found in Orem.

Authorities said a 16-year-old and 15-year-old were found in Salt Lake City around 10 p.m. Thursday.

Juvenile Justice Services Spokesperson Elizabeth Sollis spoke about the situation.

“For the most part this is one last opportunity for them to clear all of their obligations to the courts and to society and the communities, so for the kids to leave the program is very unfortunate because they are jeopardizing that opportunity they had to complete their obligations in a manner that gives back to the community and holds them accountable,” she said.

Authorities did not originally release the names and photos of the teens, but said they made a decision to do so if they were not found within 24 hours. After the boys were found, FOX 13 News removed the boys’ names and photos. Several hours after their escape, a car was stolen from the JCW’s in Lehi.

Police are still investigating whether or not the theft may be connected with one or more of the teens.

The car belonged to Esther Lombardi, who described what happened through a translator. She said she was warming up her car before clocking out and when she went back outside she saw the theft happening right before her eyes.

“There was this young guy who was already backing up,” the translator said. “She thought it was a joke of the employees because they looked young – but then she thought they were probably going to come back but then he backed up really fast and they came all the way through the drive thru.”

Surveillance video shows the 2004 Isuzu driving the wrong way through the restaurant’s drive thru.

Lombardi’s translator said: “When she realized that they were not the coworkers, she was really scared and she started shaking and was like, ‘OK I need to call the cops now this is not a joke anymore.'”

Authorities said all four of the teens have been taken to a detention facility.