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Non-custodial mother, boyfriend arrested for alleged kidnapping of Utah 4-year-old

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Posted at 8:43 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 23:22:30-04

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah — A Utah woman and her boyfriend have been arrested for their alleged roles in kidnapping a 4-year-old this week.

Police said 37-year-old Taryn Pearce took her son Wyatt and fled from a court-ordered child custody exchange on Monday in South Ogden. The boy was supposed to be removed from her custody and given to the father.

On Friday, South Ogden Police gave an update that their investigation led them to La Barge, Wyoming, where the child was found "in good health" and Pearce was taken into custody. She will be extradited to Utah to face one first-degree felony charge of child kidnapping.

Pearce's boyfriend, Christopher Merino, was also arrested after police said they interviewed him and learned that he was "actively involved in the kidnapping" and "on-going hiding" of the 4-year-old.

The boy will be given to his father, who is going up to Wyoming.

No details were available on why the child and his non-custodial mother went to Wyoming.

An Amber Alert was not issued for this case because police did not believe the boy was in danger.