Former 'prophet' of doomsday church to appear in court following Amber Alert

A Utah man believed to be the head of a new religious sect allegedly hid two young girls in 50-gallon barrels for almost 24 hours in freezing temperatures and kept another two in an abandoned mobile home, authorities said.

Earlier this week, authorities found Hattie Briella Coltharp, 4, and Dinah Elizabeth Coltharp, 8, in a sect compound outside Lund following a tip, FOX13 Salt Lake City reported.

Following a child abduction investigation, authorities found the two boys alone on Monday on the remote compound.

The discovery of the children came days after Coltharp was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and child abuse.

Dramatic video shows the rescue of two girls believed to have been abducted by their "doomsday prepper" father three months ago.

According to the Iron County Sheriff's Office, a woman contacted the Iron County Sheriff's Office on Friday to ask for help in locating her four missing children, whom she believed were in the custody of the children's grandparents.

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A statement from the Iron County Sheriff's Office said Shaffer is believed to be a member of a religious affiliation called "Knights of the Crystal Blade", and the children he's accused of kidnapping belong to a fellow member.

Deputies learned Shaffer had been last seen on Sunday with the other two missing children, along with two of his own children, the statement said. Investigators say they were there for 24 hours in subfreezing temperatures and were improperly dressed with no food or water. They were found dehydrated and in poor health inside an abandoned single-wide mobile home nearby. Three of the girls were treated and released.

"Oh mine child, I have heard thy prayer and thy cry, and I will answer thee as touching this matter concerning the Law", the website reads. Samuel Warren Shaffer, 34, who calls himself the prophet of a polygamous sect named "Knights of the Crystal Blade", was subsequently arrested. Coltharp's two sons were found with their grandmother, Catherine Coltharp, at 11:45 a.m. Monday in the sect's compound in Lund, which was built of large metal shipping containers. Coltharp is embroiled in a custody battle with his ex-wife, Micha Soble.

The 33-year-old Coltharp's interest in polygamy and "prepping" for doomsday had intensified in recent years, according to relatives. He had fled to an unknown location with the children, as well as his parents.

Coltharp disappeared with the couple's four children later that month.

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