Paige and Riley Cullen we reunited with their father on Wednesday.
Paige and Riley Cullen. (Source: Scott County Sheriff's Office)
SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) -
SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says two children who were taken by their biological mother Tuesday have been located and are safe.
The father was able to pick up his kids with help of deputies, and they have since left to go back to Franklin County.
Authorities said Paige Cullen, 6, and Riley Cullen, 4, were taken by their mother.
David Cullen was granted custody of the two kids by a Franklin County judge, but he couldn't get in contact with their mother.
“And they were just…suddenly just gone," said their father David Cullen. "And I wasn’t too worried. But then last night with that poor girl down in Springfield. That’s when things start to run through a person’s head.”
Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter said they were finally able to track the kids to their grandmother’s home in Scott County.
On Tuesday the Scott County Sheriff’s Office issued a Parental Abduction Alert.
“We were in contact with the grandmother too so she was very helpful to help resolve this," said Sheriff Walter. "Sometimes you don’t have the people in there making these calm, rational decisions like this grandmother did.”
Sheriff Walter said these custody situations are all too common and something they respond to almost daily.
Cullen said he filed for custody to simply create a better life for his kids in Franklin County.
“I was trying to keep my daughter in school because she seemed to like her class. My son was going to preschool for two hours two days a week," Cullen said. "But he was meeting kids and having fun and that’s all that I was trying to do at the time was they have had so much turmoil. I was just trying to give them some sort of normalcy in their life.”
Cullen says his kids were pretty unaware of what was going on but he’s relieved and happy to have them back safely.
“I hadn’t actually physically seen my kids since Christmas, so I was worried that she was going to run, run and I would never see them again," he said. "I always thought I was good to my kids and I think they’re happy to be back now.”
No charges have been filed out of Scott County.
According to the sheriff's office, Paige E. Cullen, 6, and Riley Cullen, 4, were taken from a rural Sikeston home by their biological mother, Heather L. Hall, after a custody order was issued granting custody to their biological father.
Deputies say the mother does not own a vehicle. It was reported that the mother is mentally unstable when she does not take her medication properly.
The sheriff's office considered this a "moderate severity," meaning possible threat to life or property.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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