OGDEN — An Ogden mother who defied a court order to turn over her two children to child welfare authorities has been arrested on two kidnapping charges.
In charging documents, the Ogden Police Department said the Utah Division of Child and Family Services determined Kara Jo Spencer, 33, was incapable of caring for her 2-month-old because of prescription drug and heroin addictions.
Spencer refused to attend a March 4 shelter hearing in 2nd District Juvenile Court, the police probable cause statement said.
Judge Jeffrey Noland issued an order removing the infant from Spencer’s custody, but she did not communicate with caseworkers “except to inform them that she would not turn over the child unless DCFS agreed to certain demands.”
Noland followed up with an order removing Spencer’s 15-year-old child from her custody and issued warrants for police to find the children.
DCFS gave the warrants to Ogden police on March 9. The probable cause statement said DCFS told police Spencer was a suspect in pharmacy robberies.
Second District Court records also show Spencer had a felony DUI conviction in 2017 and just completed probation for that offense on Jan. 5.
Detectives tracked her phone and internet activity and located Spencer in the Forth Worth, Texas, area.
DCFS spoke to her by phone the next day, and according to police, Spencer demanded that her kids not be turned over to her mother. She also said she wanted her children returned to her immediately if she satisfactorily completes fitness assessments.
Caseworkers said they could not guarantee that, and Spencer said she was therefore not returning from Texas, according to the police statement.
An Amber Alert was issued and Texas police found Spencer and the children.
The Weber County Attorney’s Office filed charges against Spencer of first-degree felony child kidnapping and second-degree felony kidnapping.
She was booked into the Weber County Jail on Tuesday and remains held without bail.
Spencer made her first court appearance Thursday. A public defender was appointed to represent her. The next court hearing in the case is scheduled for April 2.