Body of 5-year-old Destiny Norton Found

I used to believe, many, many years ago, that prayer would keep me, and those I loved, safe. I learned rather early on that life is not so simple or easy.

Utah has been gripped, this week, by the search for missing 5-year-old Destiny Norton. Unfortunately, the search did not end well. The little girl’s body was found in a neighbor’s basement, and the man booked into jail. Prayer did not keep Destiny safe. I would really hope that some would not say it was because her parents did not live the ideal life, or pay a faithful tithe, or even go to Church. I would HOPE that no one would stoop that that.

This little girl was an innocent. It matters not who her parents were, and what their standing in the community was. She was a baby, and she was murdered.

This is a not a safe world we live in. Mormon, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Presbyterian–kiss your children and be grateful for the warmth you feel on their brow. Remember that argument you had just an hour ago, maybe about bedtime, and be grateful their mouths could open to argue. Remember the look they gave you as they stomped out, and never, ever, forget it, for life is fragile. Tomorrow you may not see that look again. And you will miss it, no matter what you think.

Condolences to Destiny’s family. Godspeed to Destiny. We’re sorry we couldn’t keep you safe. Please, God, allow us to do better next time.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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12 Responses to Body of 5-year-old Destiny Norton Found

  1. desi says:

    God has a rocking chair, I bet Destiny’s in it with Him right now.


  2. Cele says:

    I do not personally fear my demise (maybe just the route that is used to get to the next phase of my existance) but I fear the loss of those I love and those about me.
    I can not imagine the agony Destiny’s parents are enduring at this moment, or will feel forever. But I wish them resolve, the love of God, and serenity at a soon time in their lives. I pray they know that Destiny will ever be with them, I know that to many it is a cold comfort, but I believe they can still talk to her, spend their thoughts with her, and feel her love in their hearts.


  3. Before the trial, before the horrifying drama, I am glad that you thought of the child and her parents. We do forget the personal tragedy caused by the death of a child.

    Thank you for this thoughtful moment.


  4. Kris says:

    Did anyone other than me see the report that showed the three mile radius around this young girl’s Salt Lake City home? 233 known sex offenders. 233 KNOWN people. That isn’t even counting the unkonwn. This world that we live in has some seriously sick people in it and it has nothing to do with race, religion or anything else.



  5. Natalie says:


    I agree. This type of crime knows no boundaries. So, so sad.


  6. Caryn says:

    A beautiful, sad, timely reminder.


  7. Cele says:

    A very sad statistic Kris. I found it extremely sad, according to reports, there had been complaints. Something else was that people continue to say stupid ass things like…He didn’t look the type. WTF does that mean? Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks, “I’m going to dress up today like a homicidal pediphile.”


  8. Howy says:

    You can’t stop it. You feel helpless, outraged and scared. They should bind the bastards and let the parents loose on them. Some frontier justice is in order.


  9. yea I used to live in boise,idaho. I feel your pain…i think.

    I was reading your blog, it reminds me of home (i live in orange county currently)

    The google ads on your page had a link to ‘” where apparently you can me 1000000’s of mormon singles…its like they made a myspace for byu.

    Ahhh ….have you encountered any mormon homosexuals?


  10. Joe says:

    Destiny was beautiful and innocent, not unlike any other child, from anywhere on the planet. I think the search touched a few nerves.
    National media attention was demanded, like so many other Utah cases. Yet, that attention is no longer wanted, when the accused is Mormon. Old polygamy connections, can keep most Utahn’s relatively safe.
    God help any “Gentile” who is accused of anything like this in Utah. Much different price to pay.
    Locked away neatly in Utah’s mental institutions, are abductors of E. Smart, Mr. Hacking, and likely this Gregerson fellow, considering his polygamous ancestry. That will undoubtedly be his saving grace.
    Utah wants national media, well where is the media. Why are they not pointing this stuff out to America.
    Mormons are not the victims they portray themselves to be… It is and has always been the children.

    As far as the comment regarding the number of registered offenders in this childs neighborhood. That is so typical of Utah. Pretend it is the land of apple pie and the American flag.

    I ask those people in Utah, if they would pour out their love to a gentile family, if their son was accused of such a crime. It would not happen. And everyone knows it. The only victims, are Mormons. They seem to be victims of themselves, literally.
    P.S. Lori Hackings dad made quite a story, saying he would not leave Utah until this little girl was found. Now, has he gone to other states, where other children are missing (non Mormon) and committed to this. No he hasn’t. Other childeren are not valued the same way.
    Makes me sick.


  11. Shaun says:

    I live in the ward, but did not know Destiny. My young son knew her in Primary. I participated in the search along with several ward members and service missionaries Sunday night and into the morning. (Whoever it was that I collided with, both of us on mountain bikes, my shoulder is fine now, I hope you are fine.) Doing a search after midnight can be interesting. I was stopped by a man in a red Escort who asked me if I had seen his wife. The other searchers had good stories to tell. There had been an alleged sighting near Trolley Square, and that area was searched intensely.

    At first, my young son wanted to help with the search and then learned how difficult a search it was. We didn’t think it terribly unsafe to let him ride his bike home from the church alone at 11:00 pm. We didn’t send him, he just went, we figured he was ok.

    At about 2:30 a.m. some of us exhausted searchers met back at the church to turn in flyers and to report our activity and findings. We talked about what the options were. Those of us who raise kids in the area talked about what to do from a gut level. Where was the “mother’s instinct” in all of this. They knew exactly what I was talking about. The four of us, three women and I, who were talking wanted to look in the compound named Elwood Place. Five year old kids don’t go far if anywhere, with some wanderlust exceptions.

    The police were in charge, and believe me, there would have been NO stone unturned, had those three ladies been given that license. The garage, the apartments, including the basements, would have been searched thoroughly. I went home to sleep and they kept going. Legal limitations, privacy issues, late night, and lies stood in the way. At that point, nobody wanted to think about the possibility of her being dead. They were hoping she was asleep somewhere.

    It is interesting to me how well the kids are handling this whole thing. Now that it’s down the road a little. Those who are close to the situation have found fulfillment in serving the family. We have moved the Norton’s, taken in meals, tried to comfort, assist in the funeral and burial, and made improvements to a property to provide a comfortable place to live, while they attempt to establish a normal life.

    It’s about time for the cheap shots, and the could haves and should haves, to surface. We have had conversations about the Gregerson family and it would seem that those parents will be aging quickly, as a result of this. They are not in my circle. There is a host of legal stuff to go through, where this can be sorted out.

    The events of Destiny Norton’s death are mental, and social disorders. No amount of remedial effort will change things now. I have often thought that women, like the three I mentioned, caring mother’s, could be put on salary on a public level and work on fixing some of these things in advance. In the long run, it could be cheaper than free.

    That would be a way for the public to show that we care about children.


  12. Joe says:

    Shaun, how lovely. Skirt around the facts, the outrageous crime rates in Utah, not even reflecting the truth about your CULTURE. Your bishops quietly make things go away. Your Mormon law enforcement look the other way, except when it comes to “gentiles.”
    Abuse of children, is part of your religion, spanning 175 years. I have no doubt, you are a “Good Mormon” who would immediately take on multiple wives, if you could.
    You people are a disgrace. Always portraying yourselves as victims.
    You and your brethren seem to think you are superior, when you level of intelligence is measured by your attempt to mask problems, believing you have fooled others.
    Tricky, just like Joseph…
    Have fun explaining and attempting to justify the actions of yourself, your disgusting sexual predator ancestors, and your pathetic religion, which has nothing at all to do with God.
    FYI Joseph, the prophet, made over 2000 changes to the Holy Bible.
    Burn in hell.


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