Colleton Co. toddlers in abduction case return home, case closed

Colleton Co. toddlers in abduction case return home, case closed

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Colleton County officials say the three children involved in an abduction case in March have returned to their home.

Sisters 4-year-old Mya and 2-year-old Shamyra and their cousin, 3-year-old Eugene were in protective custody for several months following their 18-hour disappearance from their mobile home in Smoaks on March 9.

Monday afternoon Lt. Jodi Taylor said investigators told her all leads have been "exhausted" on this case, therefore the case has been closed unless something new becomes available.

According to family court documents, Taylor said the children were returned on June 8.

Authorities found the toddlers in the closet of an abandoned trailer nearly 100-yards from their home.

Deputies responded to a report of children missing from a home on Bent Gate Lane at approximately 6:33 p.m. Wednesday, March 9.

The responding deputy noted in the incident report the custodial parents seemed "very concerned on the whereabouts of the juveniles, and were very forthcoming with any information that they were able to provide." The same deputy noted, however, the birth parents "did not appear to be very worried about the location of the juveniles and continued to be concerned about missing their ride back to Columbia."

The sheriff's office says the deputy spoke to multiple people attempting to gain information about the disappearance.

The children's grandmother said she had arrived home from work and the children came up to her yelling because they were happy to see she was home, the incident report states. She told deputies she went inside to change clothes, and while in the house, her daughter came in and asked if she knew where the children were. The grandmother told authorities she thought her daughter was just joking and did not take it seriously. She then said her brother came and asked again if she knew where they children were because they were missing.

At that point, the grandmother walked outside and started looking for the kids and said everybody on the street also began to search, the report states.

She said they called law enforcement when they realized they were unable to find the children, the report states.

The grandmother said she last saw them in the front yard playing on a small mound and said the kids knew better than to leave the yard.

Deputies said the mother of the two girls told authorities she last saw the kids playing in the front yard as well and had not seen them since. She said the kids never left the yard without anybody with them.

The boy's father said his son knows better than to leave the yard of the home and said his son would ride his bike to the end of the yard or the end of the driveway and knew he could not go any further.

A sheriff's office report states deputies looked through all abandoned houses in the area as well as in the homes who live near Bent Gate Lane.

Investigators say after searching through some of the abandoned homes, the grandmother pointed out that some of the toys that she remembers the kids playing with in the front yard were now on the front porch of a trailer home that's facing the back of their home.

Authorities say they located the children's toys on a road around the backside of the trailer.

This is a developing story.

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