10-month-old Ezaylea Cowger, who went missing on the morning of Jan. 2, was found in Durango early Friday morning, according to Delta County Undersheriff Quinn Archibeque. The male suspect in the incident, identified as 34-year-old Dustin Alt, is in custody after being arrested in Durango for other warrants, and Cowger is now in protective custody.
Cowger went missing after Alt dropped off the young girl’s mother at the emergency room with serious injuries. According to a press release from the Delta County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), deputies were dispatched to the hospital on a report of the injuries. Before authorities arrived, the male party left the scene with Cowger, whose whereabouts became unknown.
Deputies issued a state-wide search warrant for Cowger and the vehicle Alt was driving. Due to her severity of injuries, Cowger’s mother was airlifted to Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, causing a delay in interviewing the victim, the report said.
“Dustin Alt, 34 of Delta, was arrested on several charges by the Durango Police Department and is currently incarcerated at the La Plata County Jail,” the release stated. “Ezaylea was returned to family members and the Delta County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the circumstances of this incident. Local charges are forthcoming.”