Second suspect in Centerville kidnapping case taken into custody in Wyoming

Posted at 3:28 PM, May 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-15 09:00:41-04

UPDATE as of 11:50 p.m.. MT:  Lieutenant Von Steenblik of the Centerville Police department said they attempted to interview Dereck James (DJ) Harrison about the Centerville kidnapping case, after he was taken into custody late Saturday evening.

However, Lt. Steenblik said Harrison did not cooperate and would not give any information. He said Harrison did admit to authorities that he didn't know his father, Flint Harrison, had turned himself in Saturday morning. He said F. Harrison left during the middle of the night.

DJ Harrison told police he saw the Utah Department of Public Services helicopter hovering around the area, and figured they were searching for him. He said he had hunkered down underneath trees to hide and stay dry in the rain, Lt. Steenblik reported.

Ultimately, DJ was captured after a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer saw him walking down the road around 10 p.m. Lt. Steenblik said DJ was standing in the middle of the road, and followed all commands as he got arrested.

DJ was found unarmed, without the guns authorities originally thought he had on him.

Lt. Steenblik said F. Harrison has not given a concrete reason why he turned himself in.

FOX 13 News' Lauren Steinbrecher is in Pinedale, Wyoming, watch Good Day Utah Sunday morning for the latest on this developing story.

UPDATE as of 10:30 p.m.. MT: The Sublette County Sheriff's Office confirmed around 10:30 p.m that Dereck James (DJ) Harrison was taken into custody without incident Saturday sometime around 10 p.m.

The man's father, Flint, was the other suspect in the case, and the elder Harrison surrendered to police less than 24 hours prior to his son's arrest. Police stated that DJ Harrison was believed to be armed and had made direct threats toward police prior to his arrest.

No further details about the man's arrest were immediately available.

UPDATE as of 9 p.m. MT: Sublette County Sheriff's Office posted an update around 8:50 p.m. stating they were suspending search efforts for Saturday night. Shortly before dusk, officials located a makeshift campsite with gear that was reported to be in Dereck Harrison's possession.

Crews did another sweep of the area before suspending the search, but they found no further sign of Harrison.

“At this time, there is no reason to believe that the citizens are in any immediate danger,” Colonel Mark Farrell stated.

Pinedale citizens were previously asked to consider sheltering in place throughout much of Saturday, and the Sheriff’s Office is still asking that they use extra caution until the suspect is apprehended.

“We know he has made direct threats against law enforcement,” Colonel Farrell said, “But we do not believe he has left the Half Moon Lake area. The discovery of the campsite leads us to believe that he (Dereck) had a plan to stay in that forest area.”

Previous story continues below:

PINEDALE, Wyo. -- Police in Pinedale, Wyoming are asking residents to remain in or at their homes as officers search for a potentially armed fugitive from Utah who has made several direct threats toward law enforcement.

Police are looking for Dereck James (DJ) Harrison, who is wanted for an alleged kidnapping and assault that occurred in Centerville and targeted a mother and her four young daughters. 

Harrsion's father, Flint, turned himself in overnight, but DJ remains at large Saturday and is potentially armed. He is believed to have two knives and may be carrying a .300 win mag rifle and a .22 Remington 10/22 with high-capacity magazines. H e also has limited camping gear and food supplies.

Police said while DJ Harrison has, "made several direct threats to law enforcement" they don't believe he is an immediate danger to the public.

DJ's mother, Mary Ann Harrison, told FOX 13 News she has traveled to Pinedale from Utah and hopes to talk her son down and prevent any violence.

According to the Sublette County Sheriff's Office in Wyoming, a man matching DJ's description was seen running from the Half Moon Lake campsite Saturday morning. As of 2:30 p.m., that campground was evacuated and nearby homes and buildings were cleared by police.

Access to the area via Fremont Lake Road has been blocked. Residents needing access to homes have been taken in with escorts on a case-by-case basis.

A search warrant was executed at a home in Pinedale belonging to Flint Harrison, but no sign of DJ was found.

Police are asking Pinedale residents to remain in their homes and to consider sheltering in place until the suspect is apprehended.

Search efforts assisted by various Utah and Wyoming agencies are ongoing, and a helicopter is in the area. FOX 13 News has a crew on the way to Pinedale, and we will have further details as they emerge.