One arrest, more expected, in case of Centerfield girl recovered in Cedar City
CEDAR CITY—Lindsey Pearson is safe at home in Centerfield after allegedly being kidnapped and taken to Cedar City over the weekend, and one adult has been arrested in the case—with additional suspects likely to be charged in coming days.
Pearson, 17, was found safe and sound at off-campus housing near Southern Utah University’s (SUU) campus and, according to a statement from Gunnison Valley Police Department (GVPD) Chief Brett McCall, Pearson spoke with FBI agents prior to being contacted by SUU officers.
“(We) have found several suspects complicit in taking Lindsey out of the Gunnison Valley area and away from her custodial parent who resides in Centerfield,” McCall said. “In cooperation with other local and federal partners, (we) were able to navigate the complicated scheme the conspirators concocted … to take Lindsey and then attempt to ‘hide her out’ in Cedar City.
“This involves a non-custodial parent and at least two others. There will be charges filed against those others, pending our work with the Sanpete County Attorney’s Office.”
Officers arrested 29-year-old Michelle Serra of Milford on Friday, July 28 in Beaver. Serra was held in the Sanpete County Jail on charges of felony kidnapping, and was released the next morning after posting $10,000 bail.
According to McCall, his department plans to arrest others in the case.
McCall added that Cedar City Police Department (CCPD) officers were not involved in the investigation—and that their department felt there was a conflict of interest in the case.
CCPD Sgt. Jerry Womack said the recusal came from a “strong desire to do the right thing.”
“One of our officers is a family member to one of the accused in this case,” Sgt. Womack said. “We felt like it wasn’t appropriate to be handling it.”
Pearson didn’t come home after work Thursday evening, July 27, at 9 p.m. at Coach B’s in Gunnison and her bicycle was found near the Gunnison Valley High School football field, leaned against a fence, according to police.