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Parents’ Worst Nightmare’: Utah Dad Foils Girl’s Abduction

Stepfather Stops Attempted Abduction of 5-Year-Old 1:09

Police called it “a parents’ worst nightmare”: A stranger broke into a Utah home early Friday, snatched a 5-year-old girl from her bed, and carried her away. But the attempted abduction in Sandy had a happy ending, when the girl’s stepfather heard the front door open, raced outside and foiled the kidnapping.

“This seems to be something that's totally random," Miles Holman, an attorney and spokesman for the family of the 5-year-old, told NBC station KSL Friday, hours after the attempted 4:30 a.m. abduction in the Salt Lake City suburb. The girl was unharmed.

Police said 46-year-old Troy Morley entered the home and eventually made his way to the basement, where the 5-year-old was sleeping, KSL reported. He then picked up the girl and ran out the front door — neighbors told the station she was screaming, “no, no, no” — before her stepfather chased after and confronted him, and the intruder handed the child over and ran.

Police caught up with Morley in a second burglarized house and sent a police dog after him, KSL reported. He was taken to a hospital for injuries and was booked at Salt Lake County Jail on charges of child kidnapping, burglary, criminal trespass and other charges, according to jail records.

“It's probably one of a parents' worst nightmares, is someone trying to abduct their child, especially out of their own home,” Sandy Police Sgt. Dean Carriger told the station.

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— Phil Helsel