VIRGIN – A Hurricane man facing 12 first-degree felony charges for alleged aggravated child sexual abuse, along with an assortment of other charges, was found dead Tuesday night in a remote area near Virgin. He is believed to have taken his own life.
On Tuesday, a request for a welfare check of Paul Brady Whitlatch was called in to the Hurricane City Police Department, Springdale/Zion Canyon Police Chief Garen Brecke said. Brecke said he thought one of Whitlatch’s family members placed the call, but he wasn’t certain.
“We were sent to a welfare check in an area of Virgin,” Breck said, “where one of my officers located the subject’s car and located the subject deceased.”
No other people were found in the area near Whitlatch’s car or body. Suicide is believed to be the cause of death, Breck said.
Whitlatch, 54, was arrested Oct. 29 following an investigation conducted by the Hurricane City Police Department into reports that he had inappropriately touched three different children on multiple occasions in 2014.
In addition to 12 first-degree felony charges for alleged aggravated child sexual abuse, Whitlatch was additionally charged with one third-degree felony for aggravated assault with a weapon, one third-degree felony for witness tampering and one class C misdemeanor for disorderly conduct.
The additional charges stemmed from incidents that allegedly occurred when Whitlatch was confronted about the alleged child sexual abuse by the parents of the children. When confronted, Whitlatch put a loaded gun to his head and threatened suicide, according to a probable cause statement filed in support of his arrest. He then pointed the loaded gun at the mother of the children he was accused of abusing.
In September of this year, Whitlatch also allegedly delivered a letter to the father of the children. In the letter, several threats were made about “what will happen to the victim’s family, if police are involved,” according to the statement.
Following his arrest, Whitlatch “admitted to being in possession of the firearm and threatening suicide, over the allegations,” the statement read. “He also admitted to delivering the letter to the father of the victims, and identified this letter as his.”
Whitlatch was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility but was later released on $100,000 bond.
Due to his death, all charges against him have been dismissed without prejudice, according to court documents. The case has been closed, and Whitlatch’s bond money was refunded to the bondsman.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and LaVerkin City Police Department assisted at the scene where Whitlatch’s body was found.
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