Weekend marked by mayhem
July 26, 2006
A 13-year-old girl could face attempted homicide charges for allegedly trying to drown and strangle two girls at a North Summit campground, authorities say.
Two families with 17 foster children from Salt Lake were spending Saturday night at Camperworld Echo Island Park in Coalville when the melee ensued, Summit County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sherm Farnsworth said.
"One of the foster kids turned on two of the other kids who were there. She grabbed one of them in the swimming pool and pushed her head under water and wouldn’t let her come up," Farnsworth said. "They caught that before the girl actually drowned."
The suspect allegedly choked a different girl on the side of the pool, Farnsworth added.
"Her intentions weren’t just to dunk somebody’s head under the water and call it good at that. She actually had intentions of causing great harm to both of the kids," he said. "She hated them."
Though neither victim required medical attention, the girl who was choked spent "the night actually coughing up blood," Farnsworth said.
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The assaults occurred Saturday afternoon, but deputies weren’t contacted until Sunday, he said, adding that the suspect was in Salt Lake County by the time detectives arrived.
"We ended up going down there and arresting the juvenile female and booking her," he said.
The Park Record usually doesn’t publish the names of juveniles who commit crimes.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office is expected to charge the girl in Third District Juvenile Court with two counts of attempted homicide, Farnsworth said.
"Maybe the situation could resolve itself out and she could get the help she needs," he said.
In a separate case, death investigators at the Sheriff’s Office await autopsy and toxicology reports to determine how a Salt Lake man in his mid-20s died Monday.
His body was found on the side of the Mirror Lake Highway about 22 miles east of Kamas, Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said.
"We have reason to believe it’s a drug overdose," he said, adding that methamphetamine and prescription narcotics were found at the scene. "He was a known drug user."
The man, whose name was not released Tuesday pending notification of family members, was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators aren’t sure whether he was attempting to commit suicide, Edmunds said.
Meanwhile, deputies stopped a man driving an ice cream truck Saturday afternoon on U.S. 40 after someone on a cellular phone told a dispatcher they spotted missing, 5-year-old Destiny Norton in the cab of the vehicle.
"We thought that we had [a sighting] but it didn’t pan out," Summit County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dave Booth said. "There was a female in the truck but it was the guy’s wife."
The caller claimed to see Norton, who hadn’t been seen for several days, sitting between the seats, Booth added.
"We didn’t get their name or phone number before the call cut off," he said. Norton’s body was reportedly found dead Monday inside a home near her house in Salt Lake City.
In the aftermath of a Pioneer Day weekend filled with arrests, searchers from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team mobilized in the Uinta Mountains Monday to look for two men who hadn’t been seen for more than 24 hours, Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said.
"It was resolved right off," Duchesne County Sheriff Merv Gustin said Tuesday, adding that a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter pilot helped spot the men, who are in their 20s, within hours of authorities receiving the report they were lost.
A distress call was transmitted from a global-positioning-system unit near Kings Peak — the tallest mountain in Utah, Edmunds said.
The mountain sits in Duchesne County near the Summit County line. Three men were hiking when the group was separated and only one returned to the trailhead.
Most of the arrests deputies made last weekend were for motorists driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, possession of illegal narcotics and outstanding warrants, Booth said, adding that the drunken drivers caused no injuries and no large quantities of drugs were seized.
"We dealt with some problems with some theft cases in and around the forest," Farnsworth said.
Thieves have stolen a few hundred dollars from fee boxes in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest near Kamas during the past two weeks, he added.
"We took a tremendous number of calls up on the forest, it was a busy, busy weekend," Edmunds said. "We believe there were 50,000-plus up there. It’s like a small city and they’ve got all the problems."