Two women who appear to have ties to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement are in police custody after allegedly kidnapping a six-year-old boy.
The QAnon idea is based on a baseless far-right conspiracy theory that claims President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a “deep state” cabal of satanic pedophiles and cannibals.
Over the last several years, numerous QAnon believers have allegedly kidnapped their own children following the false belief that Child Protective Services is involved in a child-trafficking cabal.
The Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake (UPD) said on Thursday evening that they found the boy in Coos Bay, Oregon, after he was kidnapped by his biological mother, Emily Jolley.
Jolley’s Facebook page was full of QAnon references and false claims about Child Protective Services being involved with human trafficking, the Daily Beast reported on Thursday. Police said in a statement that Jolley abducted her son, whom she does not have custody of, during a monthly supervised visit on September 26.
“The mom does really seem like she aligns with the sovereign citizen stuff,” UPD Detective Dan Moriarty told The Daily Beast. People aligning with the sovereign citizens movement believe that they “get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that tracks extremism.
Like QAnon, the sovereign citizens movement is based on a conspiracy theory centered around a collective distrust of the US government.
Now, police say Jolley had an accomplice — a woman who has also spread QAnon theories on Facebook, Insider found.
UPD Public Information Officer Sergeant Melody Cutler told Insider that Jolley and the woman they believe to be her accomplice, Bonnie Jackson, were both in police custody on Friday morning. Jackson was involved in the kidnapping as Jolley’s “sympathizer and personal friend,” UPD said in a statement.
Cutler said both women await charges.
Jackson’s Facebook profile picture, a selfie featuring herself and a man, is overlaid with the acronym “#WWG1WGA,” which stands for “Where we go one, we go all,” the QAnon community’s slogan. The picture was added on April 15.
On September 7, Jackson posted a video from an anti-mask protest outside the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. Hundreds of people had been protesting Gov. Gary Herbert’s mandate that children wear masks in schools, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Most recently, on September 26 — the day police say Jolley’s son went missing — Jackson shared a YouTube video from the New Earth Project, a sovereign citizens group that spreads misinformation related to COVID-19.
The alleged kidnapping follows several kidnapping cases linked to QAnon in the US. In the fall of 2019, a Colorado woman had support from other QAnon adherents in an attempt to kidnap her son from the custody of child-welfare officials, investigators said.
According to the Daily Beast, a growing group of mothers has been spurred on by a network of QAnon believers and fake experts who say that CPS is placing their children into sex-trafficking networks.