Missing Tennessee Children Found in Another State, Parents Arrested

By Zachary Stieber

Three missing Tennessee children were found alive in Minnesota on July 12, authorities said.

Analia Essex, 6, Abigail Christian, 2, and Michale Christian, 1, went missing from Maury County, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said on July 9.

The children were believed to be with Amanda Essex and Michale Darrel, their non-custodial parents. The pair was wanted for custodial interference.

Authorities had said the group may have been headed to Minnesota through Wisconsin, and they were ultimately found in Cass County.

After the children were found, the parents were arrested.

“Analia, Abigail, and Michale have been found! Law enforcement located them, along with their non-custodial parents, in Cass County, Minnesota. The parents are currently in custody. Thank you for helping us spread the word!” the bureau stated. No other information was available.

tennessee parents arrested
Amanda Essex and Michale Darrel, in file photos, were arrested after being found with their children, who they do not have custody of, authorities said. (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

Missing Mother, Children Found Safe

A mother who went missing with her three children was found safe in Colorado on Wednesday.

Shiann Moore, 27, vanished with her three kids over the weekend, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday. They were named as Lillie Faries, 10, Timothy Pearce, 7, and Sabrina Pearce, 10 months old.

The family was last seen at a house in Fruita and were said to have been traveling in a 2001 silver Pontiac Grand Prix with a Colorado license place of GOA-169.

There was no indication of danger.

In an update, the office stated: “Shiann Moore and her three children were found safe. They were found in Evans, CO after a citizen recognized them from the statewide Endangered Missing Person Alert and news coverage.”

“They are safe and in good health. Thank you to CBI, Frutia Police Department, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (AZ), Evans Police Department and Mesa County Department of Human Services for their assistance with this case,” the office added.

“The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank everyone who shared the missing person’s alert on social media and those who called in tips. No more information is expected to be released.”

A police car in a file photo. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

Parental Kidnapping

According to the Polly Klaas Foundation, approximately 200,000 children are kidnapped each year by a family member.

Child custody experts say that people kidnap their own children to force a reconciliation or continued interaction with the other, left-behind parent; to spite or punish the other parent; from fear of losing custody or visitation rights.

In rare cases, the kidnapping may occur to protect a child from a parent who is believed to be abusing the child.

Common warnings signs include the other parent threatening abduction, suspected abuse, or paranoid delusion.

Overall, the number of reported missing children significantly decreased in recent years, according to a report by the Department of Justice (pdf) in 2017. Reported missing children dropped from 6.5 per 1,000 children in 1999 to 3.1 per 1,000 in 2013.

Missing children typically fall into five categories: kidnapped by a family member, abducted by a nonfamily perpetrator, runaways, those who got lost, stranded, or injured, or those who went missing due to benign reasons, such as misunderstandings.