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Father of missing Utah boy talks about son's disappearance

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 19:56:22-04

RICHFIELD, Utah — As the mystery over the disappearance of a 12-year-old Utah boy continues, the child's father answered questions about his son during a court hearing this week.

FOX 13 INVESTIGATES: Dad saying little about Utah boy reported as runaway

Salome Johnson was last seen in March in Monroe. Johnson's mother suspects he’s on a work crew tied to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Tuesday's virtual court hearing was supposed to be about who should have permanent custody of Sarah Johnson and Rulon Jessop’s four children. But a lot of questions focused on Salome, the former couple’s lone son.

Jessop told the judge in Richfield that he last saw Salome on March 13, days after the boy’s mother was awarded custody.

"We made every effort. We called the local police department. We searched. I went down to Cedar City looking," Jessop said. "I went to my boy’s house down there. I looked. I looked in every room. I talked to the neighbors. And we just haven’t found him.”

Under questioning from his former plural wife’s attorney, Jessop said he doesn’t know who in the FLDS he would call to look for Salome.

Multiple businesses with FLDS ties have been cited for using underage labor, and Johnson believes her son could be anywhere in the country on a church work crew.

Another custody hearing is scheduled for August.

FOX 13 heard this week from Sevier County Sheriff Nathan Curtis. In an email, Curtis said Salome is still considered a runaway and his father has been cooperative.

Authorities are asking for anyone who has seen Salome Johnson to contact local police or call the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office at 435-896-6471.

Johnson is considered big for a 12-year-old; described as 5'9" and 165 pounds with brown eyes and light brown hair.

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