FBI: Malnourished Utah toddler kidnapped by parents
Web posted at: 12:19 p.m. EDT (1619 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI has launched an intensive search for a Utah couple, described as religious cultists, who allegedly kidnapped their 20-month-old son from a hospital. Officials believe the toddler's life is in serious jeopardy.
Concerned about the child's health, the FBI has issued an urgent appeal for public help and offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of Christopher Earl Fink and Kyndra Lee Fink, who is said to be 8-and-a-half months pregnant.
Authorities say Utah state officials took the Finks' son David away last Friday because he was suffering severe malnutrition.
Officials say the couple refuses to feed the child anything other than lettuce and watermelon, believing he is "a religious prophet." Christopher Fink reportedly believes anything other than starchless fruit, vegetables and leafy greens could contaminate the child.
David weighed only 16 pounds when he was taken from his parents and rushed to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, officials said.
During a supervised visit with the child last Saturday, Christopher Fink allegedly assaulted a hospital staff member, and the Finks fled with the youngster, officials said.
Authorities said since the abduction, there has been a confirmed sighting of the fugitives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but it is unclear in which direction the Finks may have fled from there.
FBI officials believe the Finks are traveling in a 1986 maroon Suburu with Utah plate 126-KHV.
The agency on Wednesday offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of the Finks and the recovery of the child.
The FBI also established a public hotline for calls with information on the whereabouts of the Finks and their son: 1-800-796-7225.
An FBI statement said the fugitive couple had contacted the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days, a 350-member polygamous group based in Manti, Utah. Church officials deny that Christopher Fink has ever been a member.
Officials say church officials are cooperating fully with authorities.
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