UPDATE: Missing Boy, Girl Found Unharmed - The Missourian: Local News

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UPDATE: Missing Boy, Girl Found Unharmed

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Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013 5:11 am | Updated: 7:31 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

UPDATED: Officers have located the St. Clair area boy and girl who went missing Wednesday night in the Piney Park area.

Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said that the boy, Scottie Warner, 11, was located unharmed at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The boy then led searchers to where he had left Erica Linsey, but she was not at that location. Searchers found her a short time later hiding under the porch of the boy's home. At first she refused to come out, the sheriff said.

Franklin County Sheriff's Sgt. Steve Pelton confirmed to The Missourian at the scene that both Warner and Linsey were fine. Neither required transport to a hospital.

The preliminary investigation revealed that Linsey had argued with her sister the night before and had left with Warner for that reason.

The two were last seen about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday.

A large number of searchers had been combing the area for the two since early Thursday morning. The command post at the scene was terminated shortly before 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Earlier Story

Franklin County authorities and several other area law enforcement and fire district agencies continued their search in the Piney Park area south of St. Clair during daylight hours Thursday for a pair of children who went missing late Wednesday night.

Sheriff Gary Toelke said the 13-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy were last seen at about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday at the girl's home on White Road off of Virginia Mines Road in Piney Park. The development is located off of Highway K.

Toelke said the names of the children are Erica Linsey and Scottie Warner. He said Linsey was last seen wearing a blue Angry Birds T-shirt, shorts, tennis shoes and a camouflage baseball hat. Warner was shirtless but wearing plaid shorts and tennis shoes.

"Apparently, they are good buddies and were playing outside," Toelke told The Missourian at the scene early Thursday morning. "At this point, we're treating this as a missing children report."

He said authorities are conducting a thorough search, including door-to-door, throughout the development. Rescue crews also were at the nearby Meramec River. The area is surrounded by dense woods and rough terrain.

A new search got under way shortly after dawn on Thursday.

A temporary command post was established at the scene where Toelke was coordinating search areas. The post was moved to St. Clair Fire Protection District House 3 on Highway K in Piney Park.

Dozens of individuals and a couple of K-9 crews were searching for the children in the darkness and continued during the daylight hours.

A boat crew was searching up and down the Meramec River.

Toelke said the children were outside playing on Wednesday night when the mother of one of the children left to get some ice cream. He said a short time later, the teenage girl went into the house and asked her sister if their mother was home yet. The sister said no, and Lindsey went back out to play.

The two children have not been seen since.

The parents contacted law enforcement, which then contacted fire and search teams. St. Clair Fire Protection District Interim Chief Mike Kelley said his department was dispatched to the scene at about 1 a.m. to assist in the search.

A St. Louis helicopter also was being used in the search. K-9 units from Sullivan and Eureka also were on the scene.

Toelke said neighbors and friends are being questioned. He said initial indications are that the children used a cellphone to access the Internet at about 11:58 p.m. Wednesday from the area where they were reported missing. Toelke said, however, that the phone is either now turned off or the battery is dead.

Anyone who may have information is asked to call the Franklin County Sheriff's Office at 636-583-2560. Callers may remain anonymous.

Check back to emissourian.com for any developments.

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