Four Missing Ohio Children Found Safe, Mother Arrested

4 missing Ohio children found safe, unharmed; mother arrested without incident

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Update 5:40 p.m. EDT Aug. 28: The children were found at a residence in Kenton, Ohio, Tuesday afternoon, Lima police officials said on the department’s Facebook page.

They were found “unharmed and safe” and are now in the custody of Allen County Children’s Services, police said

The children’s mother, Marianne Merritt and her boyfriend, Charles Perkins, tried to run from police, but they were caught and taken into custody, investigators said.

Perkins is jailed on an active warrant and Merritt is jailed on a charge of interference with custody.

Update 3:50 p.m. EDT Aug. 28: Police said they have been in contact with authorities in Florida as part of the search for Damara Croley, 13, Benjamin Croley, 12, Patience Wilson, 9, and Damien Wilson, 8.

The children are believed to have been abducted by their mother, Marianne Merritt, 40, and her boyfriend, Charles Perkins, 39. Police said Merritt does not have custodial rights to the children.

Investigators believe Merritt, Perkins and the children might be headed for Daytona, police said Tuesday afternoon.

Original report: The Lima Police Department has issued a statewide endangered missing child advisory for four children.

Damara Croley, 13, Benjamin Croley, 12, Patience Wilson, 9, and Damien Wilson, 8, were taken by their non-custodial mother, 40-year-old Marianne Merritt in Lima, according to a release.

They were last seen on North Main Street Tuesday around 1:30 a.m., the release stated.

Law enforcement said they believe the children are in danger and are concerned for their safety.

They may be heading to Florida with Merritt’s boyfriend, who is described as being armed and dangerous, according to the Lima Police Department’s Facebook page.

Damara is 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds, has brown hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a red Ohio State University shirt and Spiderman web pants.

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Benjamin is 5 feet 1 inch tall, weighs 120 pounds, has blonde to strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes, and was last wearing yellow smiley emoji pants.

Patience is 4 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 80 pounds, has blonde to strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a white top with dark leggings.

Damien is 4 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 111 pounds, has blonde hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt and red and black shorts.

Merritt is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 210 pounds, with red hair and green eyes.

Police are also looking for 39-year-old Charles Perkins. He is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 164 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

 

Perkins is the boyfriend of Merritt, according to police. Police stated he has active warrants and is noted as armed and dangerous.

Police are looking for a vehicle they may be in, described as a dark blue 2000 Chrysler minivan with Ohio license plate: FMQ3175. The minivan has a white passenger door.

You are asked to contact the Lima Police Department at 419-227-4444 with any information.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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