Missing children found in Utah

Mom arrested in their possible abduction from Washington

By Wendy Leonard
Deseret Morning News

Two children, believed to have been abducted by their mother in the state
of Washington nearly five months ago, were found in good condition in
South Jordan on Monday.

Their mother, 30-year-old Christina Lasser, was arrested after South
Jordan police received a tip that she and her children were in the area.

Lasser, her 1-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy were last seen together at
a medical facility in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 9. Fliers were posted in
various locations, but family and friends in Vancouver, Wash., where they
are from, had received no word of them since that time.

“She has no custodial rights to the children,” said South Jordan police
officer Darin Watrous. “She had a felony warrant out for her arrest in
Washington.”

About 5 p.m., police received a tip from someone at a local business who
recognized the woman and children from pictures on a family abduction
flier, Watrous said.

Police responded and located the woman’s vehicle, a gold Mazda Protege
that originally had Oregon license plates, at a Smith’s grocery store
near 1600 West and South Jordan Parkway. The plates had been switched to
Idaho license plates, but the description of the vehicle matched the
description on file with the National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children.

Officers contained the vehicle and waited at the entrance of the store
until the woman and children exited.

“We identified the woman and took her into custody immediately,” Watrous
said.

He said the children did not appear to be in distress but were taken into
protective custody as protocol requires. They were to spend the night at
a local family support center, where they will be cared for until they
are reunited with their father – who initially reported their
disappearance – sometime today.

Lasser was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail where she is awaiting
extradition. Watrous said Clark County sheriff’s authorities, from
Washington state, have already begun the process and are scheduled to
transport her today.

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