A mother under investigation by the Florida Department of Children and Families has absconded with her children after being told the agency was going to take custody of them, the Lake Wales Police Department said Saturday.
On Monday, DCF obtained a court issued dependency shelter order, stating the children were at risk in the custody of 37-year-old Barbara Brown.
DCF agents said they have been able to speak by phone with Brown, but she is not cooperating with them and refuses to tell them her location.
DCF contacted the police department, who assigned the case to Detective William Raebig. He checked the last known address of Brown and her daughters, 301 North Wetmore Street, but found the home was not occupied.
Raebig then began contacting family members, who said Brown had been in touch with them, but they were not aware of her location.
Her daughters, 7-year-old Emily Brown and 15-year-old Kennedy Little, have been entered into a national system as missing endangered children.
Brown has not been criminally charged in this case, but the investigation is continuing, police said.
Police ask anyone with information on the location of the three to contact Raebig at 863-678-4223, Ext. 264 or Heartland Crime Stoppers at 800-226-8477.