Family Thanks Authorities For Finding Missing Children - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/28/08

Family Thanks Authorities For Finding Missing Children

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Just before 8:30 a.m. Tuesday sheriff's deputies in McCurtain County Oklahoma found 41-year-old Kenneth Wilcox with 11-year-old Jasmine Bazan, the third missing child from Monday's Amber Alert, in a car in rural eastern Oklahoma.   Bazan, her nine-year-old brother Angel Contreras, and their friend, 14-year-old Lashawnda Theriac were supposed to be on a trip to Six Flags in Arlington with Wilcox, according their family. When he did not return at the designated time Sunday afternoon, they became worried and alerted police.

Family members were on their way to Oklahoma Tuesday afternoon to reunite with their children.  All three children are safe according to authorities.   Lubbock Police tell NewsChannel 11 that Wilcox apparently left Theriac and Contreras with his cousin at a home near Idabel, Oklahoma.   That is the county seat of McCurtain County. They apparently called their family, and alerted authorities. They told investigators that Wilcox still had Bazan, and he was taking her to a Wal-Mart also in Idabel.

McCurtain County Sheriff's Deputies, joined by law enforcement from Oklahoma and Arkansas started the search. Then, they located Wilcox and Bazan in the Ford, Focus NewsChannel 11 told you about Monday night near Shinewell, Oklahoma.   That's about 19-miles east of Idabel.

"Apparently they drove by a gate that was closed at one time, drove back by and found it open, focused some searching on that area. I believe a sheriff's deputy saw a vehicle matching the description, pulled the vehicle and did find the suspect as well as the missing child in the vehicle," Lubbock Police Captain Greg Stevens said.   Stevens tells NewsChannel 11 the children appear to be in good health. He says authorities are interviewing the children to find out what happened. He also says that since Wilcox apparently took the children across state line, this could become a federal case. We'll continue to follow the investigation.

Jasmine and Angel's uncle, Mario Ortiz and their aunt Judy Ortiz both thanked law enforcement for their hard work.   They tell us that Jasmine and Angel's mother, along with Lashawnda's mom are headed toward Oklahoma.   We'll have more from the family tonight on NewsChannel 11 at five and six.

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