A pair of kidnapped Missouri children were located in Florida on Wednesday after disappearing last year.
Authorities with Florida’s High Springs Police Department said the children went missing on March 15, NBC News reported Monday.
In a social media post Thursday, the department explained the children and their abductor were located when officers performed a routine vehicle tag check which indicated the owner was a fugitive.
“Officers located the trio shopping in Winn Dixie, after disguising their identities. The non-custodial mother, Kristi Nicole Gilley, DOB 01-01-1987, was detained and arrested on an active kidnapping warrant out of Clay County, Missouri,” the agency said:
On February 1, 2023, HSPD located two abducted Missouri children and their abductor after a routine vehicle tag check…
Followers praised officers for their efforts to find the children, one person writing , “Amazing work you guys!!!! I bet the family is ecstatic!!!”
“Wow just Wow thank God for you finding them,” another commented .
Authorities found out the names of the three individuals even though they had disguised their identities, however, “It was not immediately clear how exactly their identities were disguised,” the NBC report noted.
In a social media post Wednesday, the Liberty, Missouri Police Department also announced the Gilley children had been found out of state, then voiced its gratitude to those who helped in the case.
“Thank you to everyone who shared this post as it helped bring these children home!!!” the agency stated:
2/1/2023 UPDATE: Both Gilley kids have been safely located out of state. Their non-custodial mother is in custody on…
The act of family abduction is defined as being when a child is taken, wrongfully retained, or hidden by a parent or another relative “depriving another individual of their custody or visitation rights,” per the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
“In some circumstances family abductions can be considered a crime under federal or state law, and criminal statutes vary across the country about what conduct is considered unlawful,” the organization said.
Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Children and Families Services is caring for the children, High Springs police noted, adding the pair are scheduled to be reunited with their birth family.