Search warrant reveals plan by religious leader to kidnap children, murder 7-year-old

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) -  Police uncovered a plot to kidnap children and kill a 7-year-old.

A newly released search warrant claimed John Coltharp was behind the plan to help create his church in central Utah.

Coltharp is already facing related to kidnapping, sodomy and bigamy.  Police said he was the head of their religious group called the Knights of the Crystal Blade.  His second in command, Samuel Shaffer is also facing similar charges.  Investigators claimed each married the others 8-year-old daughters and even married their own 4-year-old daughters.

According to a newly released search warrant, Coltharp wanted more child brides for his religious followers.

"They just planned on coming up north and taking additional children from family members and taking them back with them," said Clark Christensen, police chief with the Spring City Police Department.  "They had two or three children they specifically were going to go after."

Christensen said Shaffer's father, James Shaffer turned over a large amount of evidence including laptops.  Christensen obtained the search warrant where he found Coltharp's plan involving children including a murder plot of a 7-year-old.

According to the search warrant: "John made comments that he was to kill his son."

"Once he was killed he would go to the spirit world and teach the gospel to his mother who was supposedly, according to John, dying of cancer," said Christensen.  "She is not. She is just fine."

Among the items seized were laptops.  Christensen said the FBI took those laptops and are now searching for child pornography.

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