The children were found safe Friday morning in a car behind a Buffalo Wild Wings in South Portland.
PORTLAND, Maine – Two children reported missing out of Somersworth have been found safe in a parking lot behind a South Portland Buffalo Wild Wings shortly after 10:30 am Friday, South Portland police Lt. Kevin Theriault told NEWS CENTER Maine.
At a Friday morning news conference, Somersworth police Chief Tim McLim initially told reporters they had been found at a hotel in South Portland.
Chance Wilson, 8, and Alaina Wilson, 11, were last seen Thursday night at about 7:30, when they were put to bed, according to a news release issued by the New Hampshire Department of Safety. The two children live with their grandmother, who has custody of them.
Both children were reported missing from their beds at about 9:40 pm, and it appeared they were removed from the residence through a window, the release states. The girl’s phone was reportedly left on her bed. Police later stated that the screen to one of the bedroom windows appeared to have been removed.
An Amber Alert was issued shortly before 5 am Friday, according to a news release from the New Hampshire State Police.
“It’s a fantastic tool and the purpose of that tool is to lead to the outcome that we’ve achieved, which is the children involved in an Amber alert being safely recovered,” McLim said.
Lorraine Libby, who spoke with NEWS CENTER Maine in her driveway across the street from the children’s home, said she had been worried since hearing about the incident at 6 am
“It was a little scary to hear, mainly for the children,” she said. “I was afraid for them. The grandmother, she’s really good with them.”
Police believed the children were in a 2009 Honda Civic with a Maine license plate that was reportedly taken from a relative by the children’s biological mother, Kaileigh Nichols of Lebanon, Maine.
Theriault said someone called in a tip just before 10 am, saying they believed they saw the reported vehicle in a parking lot behind the Buffalo Wild Wings on Western Avenue. Theriault said a lieutenant, a detective, and two patrol officers had been assigned to the case that morning and officers quickly found the car with Nichols and the two children inside.
Nichols, 32, was arrested on two counts of felony interference with custody and taken to Cumberland County Jail, pending extradition to New Hampshire, according to Theriault.
McLin said an investigation is still ongoing and asked that anyone with information about the incident call the Somersworth Police Department at 603-692-3131 or the crime line phoneline at 603-692-9191 or by submitting an anonymous tip online.
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