Officials: 2 missing Franklin County kids found -

Officials: 2 missing Franklin County kids found

( – Authorities have found two children who went missing near their home in Franklin County Wednesday night.

Scotty Warner, 11, and Erica Linsley, 13, were found Thursday morning, Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said. The two children, who are neighbors, were not injured.

According to officials, Warner and Linsey went missing near White Rd. south of St. Clair around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.  Officials said they were last seen playing outside one of the children’s home near the Meramec River in St. Clair.

Police said Warner told authorities the two ran away after Linsey got into a fight with her sister.

Linsey’s sister said she came into the house around 9:45 p.m. to ask their mother if Linsey was home yet. That’s when they realized the children were missing.

Officials said the two used a cell phone to access the Internet from where they were believed to be around 12 a.m. Police said the cell phone was either turned off or the battery died.

Emergency crews had searched for the pair with dogs, helicopters and boats. Authorities were concerned because the children’s homes are near the Meramec River and a heavily wooded area that includes caves and abandoned mines shafts.

The boy walked into his yard about 9:30 a.m. and led authorities to a nearby field where he thought the girl would be, Toelke said. She wasn’t there, but searchers found her hiding under a porch not far from her home.

Both are in good condition.

“She was hiding,” Toelke said. “She’s afraid of everything that’s going on.”

Toelke said he didn’t know if the children would face any discipline, but that he was relieved they had been found safe.

“Any time you have children missing like that, definitely it’s a relief when you find them,” Toelke said.

St. Clair is a town of about 4,800 residents about 45 miles southwest of St. Louis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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