NEW WAVERLY, Texas – During a news conference at 9:55 a.m., authorities said the three children have been found and are safe.
Lt. Scott Spencer with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said the children are being checked by emergency workers and then reunited with their families.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office released this statement: “MCTXSheriff is happy to report the three missing children have been located and reunited with their families. We are also pleased to report the children were checked by Montgomery County EMS personnel who confirmed they were not injured. We would like to thank the tireless efforts of those who helped with this search, including the many First Responders and the civilian volunteers of the Montgomery County Search and Rescue team.”
Authorities had expanded its search Friday morning and found them about a mile from where they had gone missing in the Sam Houston National Forest near the Flamingo Lakes subdivision.
In a press conference Friday morning, Lt. Scott Spencer with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office asked community members to stay away from the search locations so the areas don’t become “contaminated” as authorities work to find the children.
“We have all the resources on hand that we possibly need,” Spencer said earlier during the press conference. “We are so grateful and blessed to have a community that is so supportive and wants to help and get involved, but at this time, we don’t need any additional resources or help.”
Spencer said the personnel on scene are “highly trained and skilled in searching and rescue efforts.”
Deputies said they were dispatched around 7:55 p.m. Thursday after receiving an initial report of a lost person in the area of 20800 Julie Lane.
According to deputies, the caller said three children, two 6 years of age, and one 7 years of age, were missing and believed to be lost in the Sam Houston National Forest, which surrounds the Flamingo Lake Subdivision. According to Spencer, the children left their homes during the day to play with each other. When parents realized the children weren’t at each other’s homes, they called deputies.
Deputies said when they arrived, they learned the three children took a commonly used trail that connects the residences of the children. The trail is used by the neighborhood so the kids stay off the main road, investigators said.
Deputies said law enforcement agencies from several jurisdictions, along with fire department personnel, arrived and began an extensive search for the missing children.
Montgomery County Search and Rescue was also called in to assist in the search, along with helicopters, drones, and K-9 tracking dogs, investigators said. Deputies said personnel remained on location and continued the search throughout the night.
Spencer said the area that the children went in is very “dense,” but there are no bodies of water nearby.
Authorities said they believe the children entered the woods and went further into the area for some reason.