BAKER, Fla. (WKRG) —
UPDATE (3:30 p.m.) — A Crestview mom missing along with three of her children and one of her child’s friends, were all found safe this morning after an intense search in north Okaloosa County.
According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Marcella Black says she and the girls between the ages of six and eleven, had been swimming, then went for a walk off Sherman Kennedy Road north of Baker Sunday afternoon. She says they got lost in the woods and it started to get dark.
The sheriff’s office says they were reported missing by Black’s boyfriend Sunday night and deputies began a search which continued through Monday morning.
The sheriff’s office says the group was spotted around 11:30 a.m. on a sandbar along the Blackwater River by a helicopter crew from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. OCSO Deputies were directed to a spot to meet up with the group.
OCSO says the group was evaluated by the Blackmon Fire Department. Although hungry and tired, they did not require medical care. All five were found in their swimming suits and barefoot. Black says she lit a small fire overnight to try to keep them warm.
The OCSO wants to thank Florida Fish and Wildlife Officers, Okaloosa Correctional Institution K9 units, Northwest Florida State College, FDLE, FBI, Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Crestview PD, Florida Forest Service, and Blackmon Fire Department for their assistance.
UPDATE (11:55 a.m.) — All of the missing people have been located, according to the sheriff’s office. They were found on a sandbar and are in the process of being brought to safety.
ORIGINAL STORY — Okaloosa County deputies are actively searching for a missing mother and several children.
According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, they were last seen Sunday afternoon near Sherman Kennedy Road.
Marcella Black-Dustin and her two children, 10-year-old Mattie and 6-year-old Chloe, along with family friend 11-year-old Magy Malloy, were reported missing around 2:30 p.m.
Cell service is very limited in the area where teams are searching. K9s and helicopters are assisting in the search.
Anyone with information should contact OCSO at 850-651-7400 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 850-863-TIPS.