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Amber Alert canceled, missing 7-year-old Utah girl found safe

West Jordan police say a 7-year-old girl was abducted by a nonfamily member on Monday, prompting them to issue an Amber Alert that has since been canceled.

West Jordan police say a 7-year-old girl was abducted by a nonfamily member on Monday, prompting them to issue an Amber Alert that has since been canceled. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)


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WEST JORDAN — A missing 7-year-old girl from West Jordan was found safe Monday, minutes after an Amber Alert for her was issued when her alleged abductor saw the alert and drove to the nearest police department, according West Jordan police.

An Amber Alert issued just after 2 p.m. Monday and was canceled about 2:35 p.m. The girl was unharmed, police stated.

The woman who allegedly took the girl, Bernice Quintana, 56, was being questioned by West Jordan police detectives Monday afternoon.

According to police, the girl lives with her grandfather, who is her primary guardian. Quintana, who is the grandfather's girlfriend, also lives in the home, said West Jordan police officer Alondra Zavala. About 9 a.m., Quintana left the home with the girl even though the grandfather told her not to. The grandfather then called the girl's grandmother who called police about 10:40 a.m., Zavala said.

Officers tried to locate the girl at several locations Quintana was known to be associated with. When they couldn't find her, an Amber Alert was issued about 2 p.m. Zavala said even though the girl and Quintana lived at the same residence, police felt the criteria for an Amber Alert had been met.

"Based on what the grandfather had mentioned, (that) the suspect had been acting strange over the last month. And then due to the incident that occurred that morning where she was again acting strange, took the child and the grandfather told her she was not able to take the juvenile, so essentially she took the juvenile without any permission, she's never had permission to take the juvenile from the location," Zavala said,

One of the people who received the Amber Alert on her phone was Quintana. Just minutes after receiving it, she drove to the nearest police station, which was the South Salt Lake Police Department, and turned herself in. Police were questioning Quintana on Monday afternoon.

Court records show Quintana has a lengthy criminal history of mostly misdemeanor crimes. Most recently, she pleaded guilty to theft in West Jordan Justice Court on Wednesday.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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