UPDATE: 3 Missing Topeka Kids Found Safe

By: Associated Press / WIBW-TV
By: Associated Press / WIBW-TV

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UPDATE: Thursday, June 20, 2013

Police in Topeka say three young siblings have been found unharmed along a trail about 20 hours after their parents reported them missing.

Capt. Jerry Stanley says in a statement the two girls and their brother were found "safe but hungry" around 7:15 p.m. Thursday, playing in a creek along the Shunga Trail.

That's just a few miles from the home where their parents reported them missing shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Stanley says a citizen spotted the children and called police.

The children were identified as 13-year-old Stephanie Witten, 12-year-old Seth Witten and 10-year-old Michelle Witten.

Police had said throughout the search they did not suspect foul play. No Amber Alerts were issued.

UPDATE: Thursday, June 20, 2013

Authorities in Topeka continue to search for three kids who went missing last night.

In a briefing held at 4 p.m., police said they believe the kids ran away on their own, and that they're still in the city. They also don't think that anyone has picked them up.

Police said they've received several tips and are using all available resources, but have still not located them. A trucker called in a tip saying he saw children matching the description near the turnpike, but so far that has not been verified. Police are also in the process of checking surveillance at convenience stores and gas stations.

Officers have been in contact with the missing kids' friends, as well as family in and out of the state. Their parents are not considered suspects in their disappearance, and there are no signs of foul play.

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The Kansas Highway Patrol has joined the search for two girls and their brother who disappeared from their Topeka home.

Thirteen-year-old Stephanie Witten, 12-year-old Seth Witten and 10-year-old Michelle Witten were reported missing by their parents just before 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said there was no early indication of foul play, and no Amber Alert had been issued by mid-afternoon Thursday.

The search was initially concentrated on the city's west side, including parks and a shopping mall. Officers expanded the search Thursday morning.

The children's mother, Kathy Witten, told the newspaper the children were home with her husband while she ran an errand Wednesday night. Witten says her husband later went to a gym, leaving the three children watching TV alone in their basement.

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Law enforcement officers are looking for three missing Topeka children.

Topeka police say the 13-, 12- and 10-year-old children were reported missing shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday from the 1100 block of SW Orleans. They were last seen at about 9 p.m.

Police Lt. John Sturgeon says there is no early indication of foul play.

The missing are 13-year-old Stephanie Witten, 5-feet and 95 pounds with brown hair, wearing a white top and blue skirt; 12-year-old Seth Witten, 4-10 and 85 pounds with brown hair and wearing a red shirt and blue jeans; and 10-year-old Michelle Witten, 4-8 tall and 75 pounds with brown hair and a pink shirt.


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