The founder of Utah Finders has proclaimed her innocence. As I researched her a little further, she is a searcher for Utah adoptees and natural parents. The Utah Finders license lapsed. They did have a website for them. From all that I have read, she is a confidential intermediary. I have to wonder if there is a connection between her and the Utah legislators who decided not to pass the CI law in Utah. I didn't like the law anyway.
Here is the current article:
Adoption 'finder' proclaims her innocence
By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
Jill Ekstrom says she's innocent.
"I'm not going to plead guilty to something I didn't do," she said Monday, after appearing here in 1st District Court to face 21 counts of altering public records, a class A misdemeanor.
Ekstrom is accused of stealing hundreds of sealed adoption records from Farmington's 2nd District Courthouse. But she told reporters outside of court that she did not take dozens of rolls of microfilm, and questioned Davis County prosecutors' motives for charging her.
"Davis County had microfilm in a room that was unmarked as being off-limits. Records that were supposed to be sealed were left in a room that was unattended," she said. "Anybody could have taken them."
Ekstrom says she did know that sealed adoption records were in the room behind the clerk's counter at the 2nd District Courthouse. She was told that much when she was let in by a clerk to look up some other public records.
As a "finder," Ekstrom has made a career of helping reunite long lost relatives or adopted children with their birth parents. Ekstrom claims that in her career, she has arranged more than 9,000 reunifications.
"I was a mediator," she said Monday. "I never gave information unless all parties agreed to it."
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Ekstrom said she remembers complaining to a relative about the sealed records being in a publicly-accessible room, and that's what led to the charges against her. That relative, she claims, was under investigation for raping another family member. When she sided with the family member, she claims the man then ran to prosecutors with the allegation that she had stolen the microfilm.
Meanwhile, she said, Davis County sheriff's deputies posed as an adopted child searching for a birth mom and "pressured" her to find them.
"Defendant charged $850 to find the natural parents and was able to locate the mother of the adopted child," Davis County sheriff's detective Jon West wrote in a probable cause statement filed with the charges.
It was that sting operation that led to her being charged, after dozens of microfilm records came up missing. Prosecutors have said the microfilm has never been found. Initially, Ekstrom faced felony level theft charges. Recently, the case was amended to the misdemeanor counts.
Davis County prosecutors deny Ekstrom's allegations.
"It's asinine," Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said Monday. "We did not pursue that (rape) case because there was a lack of evidence. These cases are totally independent."
In court, Ekstrom's court-appointed defense attorney told Judge Ben Hadfield they may be able to reach a plea deal.
"We're hoping it's something we can resolve," said Bernie Allen, scheduling a March 31 hearing. Davis County prosecutors said they were also hopeful for a resolution, but said nothing specific had been discussed.
Outside of court, Ekstrom vowed to fight the case all the way to trial to prove her innocence. She was surrounded by a small group of supporters.
"The truth will come out," said Pat Cory, who escorted Ekstrom in and out of court. Ekstrom carted an oxygen tank with her and said she was scheduled to undergo surgery for a broken neck.
Meanwhile, the 2nd District Courthouse has upgraded its security in light of the criminal case against Ekstrom.
"The court has now put a (keypad) lock on that door," said deputy Davis County Attorney Rick Westmoreland. "It's not as readily accessible. No one can get in there without a clerk."
I have to wonder if this wasn't a set up against her. I could see it happening. LDS Social Services and their agencies probably don't want their secrets revealed. Don't worry Girl I got your back on this end.