Mother of 15-month-old missing girl explains why it was so difficult to get her daughter back

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - The search for a missing 15-month old baby girl is over.  Unified Police reunited Sophea Larsen with her mother this afternoon after she was dropped off at a family member’s house.


After nearly 3 months 15-month-old Sophea was reunited with her mother Wednesday.


"I just wanted to say thanks to everybody,” said Danielle Larsen. “I'm so glad she's back. I don't know what to say besides thank you."


Larsen hadn't seen her daughter since the girl's biological father, Jamie Webb, allegedly took the toddler after a domestic dispute. Larsen had tried everything to get her back, but for weeks didn't have much of a legal leg to stand on because she had never filed for custody.


"I didn't think I had to do that because I was the only one on her birth certificate, but apparently her birth certificate doesn't matter if I allow someone to act as the father, it doesn't matter,” explained Larsen.


Once she realized she needed to file it took her weeks to get all the appropriate documentation.


Larsen told ABC 4 Utah, "All I had was my birth certificate and my daughter's social security card. I didn't even have her birth certificate."


Once Larsen filed a protective order against Webb, and for custody of Sophea, the courts finally ordered a rid of assistance which allows police to go get the child and return her to her mother, but when police got to Webb in Taylorsville Tuesday, he took off, and Sophea was no where to be found.


After that an emergency endangered missing advisory was issued for the 15-month-old.

Wednesday Webb dropped Sophea off at his father's and the family called police.


Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder told ABC 4 Utah, "In these types of situations sometimes we can vilify people; I want to thank the gentlemen for dropping this child off. Our main interest in all of this is ensuring that this child is returned to her family that we can verify the safety and security of the child. We’ll deal with the other stuff as it comes."


Larsen is glad her daughter is home safe, but knows the fight isn't over.


"I'm glad that she was taken care of while I didn't know where she was, but that doesn't mean that it's okay,” said Larsen. “I am her mother, whether he likes it or not."


Police are still searching for Webb. He is still wanted on the aggravated assault warrant. Sheriff Winder says it’s unclear if more charges are coming, saying there are two sides to every story and he is very interested in hearing Webb’s.

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