UPDATE: Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Chief Jimmy Travis has confirmed that the two boys reported missing from Pontchatoula Wednesday have been found safe in Florida.
Travis said the boys were taken by their biological mother and that they have been located by authorities in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The mother, 38-year-old Shawntel Heck, fled on foot and police are still searching for her in a wooded area in Santa Rosa County, Travis added.
According to Travis, the boys' father returned home and left the car with the children inside to get something from his shed. When he returned, his car had vanished. The chief added that a good Samaritan had given Heck a ride at her request to the residence on River Road, where Heck "saw the car and the kids in it, she got into the car and she fled."
Heck has warrants out for her arrest on one charge of simple kidnapping and one charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle.
Both boys are in protective custody of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office. Travis said Heck is originally from that area of Florida, but it's unclear how close to her family home she was when found.
The Louisiana State Police have upgraded the Level II Child Endangerment Alert to an Amber Alert for two boys reported missing Wednesday from Tangipahoa Parish.
Troopers say the Parish Sheriff's Office asked for assistance in locating 8-year-old Kaesyn Heck and 4-year-old Jax Matthews.
The two boys are reported missing and were last seen at their father's home at 41598 River Road in Ponchatoula.
The children are believed to be riding in a 2013 Hyundai Elantra, Maroon in color with a busted sunroof. Louisiana plate 153AFD.
Troopers say the children were in the vehicle when it was stolen from the residence. The direction of travel is unknown.
Kaesyn is approximately 5ft. tall and weighs approximately 60 pounds. Jax is approximately 3 ½ ft. tall and 45 pounds. Both Kaesyn and Jax are blonde headed and have “crew cut” style haircuts.
State Police say that Jax Matthews was last seen wearing a camo jacket and black rubber boots. Kaesyn was last seen wearing a black jacket and blue long sleeve shirt, jeans and black rubber boots.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Tangipahoa Parish Sherriff’s Office at 985-345-6150 and Sgt. Lindell Bridges at 985-551-0653.
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