CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Nebraska gas clerk credited with notifying police of missing Layton teen

Dec 28, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 10:10 am

Amber Alert...

The Amber Alert for the Idaho children was canceled after they were found safely. Photo credit: Getty Images.

LAYTON, Utah — Layton Police say an observant clerk at a gas station in Nebraska is credited with notifying police of the missing 13-year-old, who was at the center of an Amber Alert Tuesday.

Lt. Travis Lyman, of the Layton Police Department, told Utah’s Morning News that Grand Island Police identified 13-year-old Evan McConney. Nebraska police also took 26-year-old Aaron Zemen into custody after the gas station attendant called the police.

Nebraska gas clerk alerted police

“The gas station attendant there saw this car, that we put out that they were in, was spending a little more time there than was usual,” Lyman said. “So, they called the local police department.”

It was originally thought the pair may be traveling to either Texas or Arizona. 

Lyman said it was expected that the 13-year-old would be reunited with his family on Wednesday.

“We couldn’t be happier about the outcome,” Lyman said. “This one had the potential to really be, to really have a different outcome.”

Police say the teenager had been talking to the suspect through a gaming device for weeks. Police say Zemen then drove to Utah to allegedly entice McConney.

“It really is challenging for parents to keep up with all of these different options,” Lyman said. 

A growing problem

Lyman says this is a problem that is happening far too often.

“Sadly, this type of communication, grooming and enticement that appears happened in this case is more common than you think,” he said. 

Police say McConney appears to be doing well. Police also say they are eager to talk to the suspect to find out where they were traveling to. 

Mark Jones contributed to this article.

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Nebraska gas clerk credited with notifying police of missing Layton teen