Last 2 Runaway Boys Found

The last two teen-age boys who escaped from a wilderness program after allegedly assaulting their counselors were taken into custody in southwestern Utah early Wednesday.

The Iron County sheriff's office said one boy was walking along the tracks and flagged down a freight train near Latimer, 40 miles northwest of Cedar City. He later told deputies how to find the other youth.

The two teens, who were in good condition, were taken to a youth detention center at Cedar City.


AP
RedCliff Ascent field Director Scott Schill, left, and counselor Kirk Stock, who was beaten, had searched for the runaways in the Utah desert.

In all, eight teens escaped Saturday from the RedCliff Ascent Therapy Program, designed for troubled youths. Five boys were captured Monday. Another turned himself in.

The boys, ages 14-17, are accused of beating counselor Kirk Stock, 23, with sticks and binding him with duct tape, then tying counselor Sunshine Fuller, 22, to a tree.

Sheriff David Benson said all eight boys will be charged with felony aggravated assault, simple assault and theft of a two-way radio.

The teens were on a 60-day survival outing. They escaped into the Utah desert with blankets and food.

"They just didn't want to be out camping," said Stock, an instructor for RedCliff Ascent, which takes teens sent by their parents or courts to the desert of southwest Utah. "They had it figured out."

The boys split up during their escape. Wearing heavy wool and fleece clothing, the boys took blankets, medical supplies, two sacks of food containing lentils, rice, oats, wheat flour, dried beans, bouillon cubes and dried chili and several quarts of water.

But they left in a hurry, leaving behind their rucksacks and sleeping bags and surviving nights as cold as 3 degrees.

The program has had more than 30 runaways this year, but RedCliff workers catch most within 24 hours.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed