Missing 6-year-old girl found safe, non-custodial parent taken into custody

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ST. GEORGE, Utah – A 6-year-old girl is home safe after police say the girl’s non-custodial parent took her from home and disappeared. The incident prompted a city-wide search by law enforcement and nearly triggered an Amber Alert.

It happened around 3:30 Friday afternoon. Police say Shane Robert Swenson visited the home of his daughter and her mother, but while the family was distracted, he left with the girl. The family searched for several hours before contacting police to say the girl had been kidnapped.

“We immediately began to saturate the area,” said St George police Sgt Sam Despain. “[We] talked to neighbors and businesses to do what we could to track them down.”

Police say Swenson suffers from mental health issues, and is homeless. Those facts added to concern that Swenson might have been trying to flee the area.

Tips from business owners led detectives to the area of South Bluff Street, where they found Swenson and the girl inside a McDonald’s restaurant around 10 p.m.

Despain said they were moments away from issuing an Amber Alert and an emergency alert call to residents in the area.

“We credit this to a great cooperation with the citizens of St. George and the local business owners for keeping an eye out,” Despain said.

Despain said Swenson fought with officers, but they ultimately took him into custody. The girl was found to be in good health and officers returned her to her mother.

Detectives are currently reviewing the circumstances surrounding the incident. They will then determine if charges will be filed. Swenson could face possible custodial interference or kidnapping charges.


  • bob

    He doesn’t look like he’s up to much, but I’ve learned in these cases never to assume that the custodial parent is necessarily the best one. It’s pretty much 50/50. Courts do not award custody based on “the best interests of the child”, despite their rhetoric to the contrary.

    • Kevin

      Ummm the man suffers from mental health issues and is homeless, despite what you think you must respect the judicial system, I’m sure he’s paying his child support payments as well, try refraining from taking his side solely because he is male.

      • C'MON KEVIN

        The judicial system will award 50/50 custody AND Child Support to a mother who is estranged from her current husband, a pathological liar, unemployed, mentally unstable, under the influence of a controlled substance, has been documented lying to the police via police reports and has two other children with two other fathers. (Personally experienced this.)

        And we’re suppose to the judicial system? LOL

        The judicial system is sexist.

  • Meegan

    “C’mon Kevin” just because that is your experience doesn’t mean it’s that way for every one else, this isn’t your story it’s Shane Robert Swenson’s story and he is homeless with mental problems. . . Not exactly father of the year. Every situation is different.

  • KDC

    She sure wasn’t complaining about him taking his daughter when they were together. And I doubt she thought he was a bad guy when they were making that baby. It all stinks!

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