Kids held captive by polygamist cult are rebuilding their lives in Colorado but need help

Mother and four kids were left with nothing
Posted at 9:36 PM, Mar 21, 2018

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- Everyday moments can be a trigger point for Micha Coltharp's four kids. A trip to the grocery store might remind them of the foods they were forced to eat in confinement, cold weather brings back memories of the three months they spent outside. 

But the worst trauma is the innocence lost when her two daughters were taken as child brides under the guise of a polygamist cult. 

"Hearing it out of my daughter’s mouth... what they made her do, what they did to them... I couldn't keep food down for days after she told me what happened," said Coltharp.

Her kids were held captive by her ex-husband John Coltharp and his friend, Samuel Shaffer. For three moths she didn't know where they were or if her children were even alive, but she never could have imagined the horror they endured. 

"It’s terrifying for them, they ask me every single day if they’re safe because they don’t feel like they are," said Coltharp.

She's now living in Colorado with family, hoping to rebuild their lives and give her kids a childhood again. They moved with nothing, left bankrupt from legal fees to divorce her husband. She lost her job, their home and was living out of a van when he took the kids. 

Coltharp started a crowdfunding page to help her kids recover. They're currently in therapy but the therapist has recommended karate and swimming lessons, which she can't afford.

"It's a terrible thing as a mom to know what they've been through and to not be able to give them everything they need," said Coltharp.