AMERICAN FORK, Utah – Police have located the van they say was used by three pregnant teenagers to flee an American Fork maternity home after they allegedly assaulted the director with a frying pan.
The van was found Tuesday abandoned in Los Angeles County, American Fork Sgt. Shauna Greening told Salt Lake City's KUTV television.
The van was not occupied, nor did officers find any clues that would lead them to the three girls. Greening said police believe the girls may be getting help from friends to stay on the run.
Police thought the trio may have headed to California after speaking with Carlos Rivera, whose 16-year-old girlfriend is in the group. Rivera, of Chicago, told police that California was the destination mentioned by his girlfriend during a phone call last week.
"I haven't talked to her for four days," Rivera said Monday.
The other girls, both 15, are from California and Texas. Police said they struck Jana Moody with a pan, then tied her and another pregnant girl and dashed in the woman's van Jan. 16.
They immediately used Moody's credit card to get gas, but there is no other evidence of spending, Police Chief Lance Call said.
"If they've gotten rid of that van, and they are keeping their heads down ... it's possible they could be gone for a while," he said.
The girls likely will face charges in Utah County, Call said.
New Hope Maternity Home, 30 miles south of Salt Lake City, is a place for struggling teens to learn about prenatal care, adoption and parenting skills. They are sent by their families to get them away from drugs or bad relationships.
The 16-year-old's mother, Gina Castro of Chicago, is anxious for news.
"I'm scared to death for her life. My daughter's in more trouble now than she was before," Castro said.