Police add Arizona to the list of possible places where missing Utah mother and son may be

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Emily Jolley is suspected of taking her son, Terran Butler, 6, during a supervised custody visit over the weekend. (Photo: Unified Police Department)

Authorities in Salt Lake County are now adding Arizona to the possible places where a Utah mother and son at the center of an Amber Alert may be.

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Emily Jolley is suspected of taking her son, Terran Butler, 6, during a supervised custody visit over the weekend.

Unified Police detectives initially said Jolley may be heading to Washington State, where she has family. A neighbor told 2News on Monday that Jolley talked about taking her son and "heading south." Police confirmed Wednesday night that Jolley may have fled to Arizona.

Police did not have any more updates on the case Wednesday, but a former detective says it’s not unusual for police to release limited information in cases like this.

“I wouldn’t expect the police to put out a lot of information to the public unless it helps the investigation,” police expert and former Unified Police administrator Chris Bertram told 2News.

Bertram says cases of custodial interference — a legal term for non-custodial parents taking their children — can be very tricky for law enforcement.

“It’s probably complex and there’s a reason why the court has initially not given this parent back the right to see the child,” he said.

Bertram handled a similar case in 2007 when a non-custodial father took his child from a supervised custody visit in Cottonwood Heights. It took three months, but Bertram and other detectives ended up tracking down the father near Providence, Rhode Island and arresting him.

Bertram says situations involving a non-custodial parent on the run can be dangerous for everyone involved.

You may not think the child’s at risk, but we don’t know that. Things may get desperate, and the child may be placed in harm’s way. That’s a scary prospect,” he said.

Bertram also suspects detectives are quickly finding out anything they can about Emily Jolley’s friends and associates, including anyone who may be helping her evade capture.

They have to make a decision: are they going to be a witness or a suspect? Because if they’re not going to be honest, there’s a consequence to that,” he said.

Terran Butler’s father, Timothy Butler, says Jolley hold extreme anti-government views and he believes Terran is in "imminent danger." Jolley’s identical twin sister told 2News that Jolley talked about abducting Terran as early as 2017.

Police arrested Emily Jolley’s mother Larain Jolley — Terran Butler's grandmother — on Saturday night on suspicion of obstruction of justice.


Terran Butler was last seen in the Millcreek area on Saturday while on a court-supervised visit with his mother Emily Jolley.

Jolley, 43, drives a blue 2008 Toyota Prius with Utah license plate E847GT. She is 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds, and has brown hair and blue eyes.

Butler has blonde hair and brown eyes and was wearing a blue shirt, black gym shorts, and black and blue hiking boots when he was last seen. He is approximately 4 feet tall and weighs 40 pounds.

Police said Jolley has ties to Washington state and may be headed in that direction. Neighbors at the Old Mill condominiums where Larain and Emily Jolley live told 2News Emily had been talking about taking Terran and "moving south."

Anyone with information about Butler's or Jolley's whereabouts is asked to call police at 801-840-4000 or 911.