Two young children from California will be placed in a foster home for their safety as Storm Lake Police continue to investigate a reported abduction by their mother.
The woman reportedly told their father that she was taking them on a trip to Disney World, and never returned. The mother and children were located Monday in Storm Lake.
Police were notified of the situation by Storm Lake School officials. When the schools contacted California officials trying to get school records on a new student, they were told that there was an investigation underway in California for the missing children.
The Storm Lake Police School Resource Officer along with detectives investigated.
They learned that two children, ages 3 and 5, had been reported as abducted from the El Monte, California, area, apparently taken by their own mother. The abduction was reported to California law enforcement on February 18, after the mother told the father she was taking the children to Disney World and never returned home.
The El Monte California Police Department provided Storm Lake Police Officers with descriptions.
Storm Lake police began combing the area for the children. At approximately 3 p.m. Monday, less than an hour after the initial call from the schools, officers checked a residence located at 305 Oneida Street for the missing children but were unable to locate them.
Police had an area broadcast put out to area law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout.
At 3:16 p.m. a Storm Lake officer spotted the mother's vehicle in the parking lot of the BV County Public Health Office in the Courthouse Annex building. Police observed the mother, both small children and two other people exit the Public Health Office and walk to the mother's vehicle. Officers took all of them into custody without incident.
Police transported the mother and children to the Police Station. The children were placed into emergency foster care by the Iowa Department of Human Services pending the outcome of the investigation. The mother was questioned and released, as California did not have any criminal charges filed against her.
Police continue to work with California authorities to determine parental custody legalities, which could determine whether or not an actual abduction crime occurred. The children will be held in a foster home until the investigation is complete.