Search Continues For Mom Who Took Kids From School

Police continue searching for two brothers who they say were taken by their mother from school Friday.

Kenansville police say the 9 and 10 year olds were recently removed from their mother's home and placed in a foster home by DSS.

Late Monday morning police released photographs to WITN News of the children and their mother.

Police say the mother, Gloria Cruz, checked Edwin Garcia and Luis Garcia out of Kenansville Elementary around 1:20 p.m. She was last seen wearing a white dress and tweed jacket.

Police believe Cruz is an illegal immigrant and has taken the kids toward Durham. They tried on Friday to have an Amber Alert issued, but because it involves a biological parent kidnapping, the state says it does not meet their criteria. Police tell us they are distributing the pictures and school surveillance video to authorities in the Triangle area.

Police say the children were placed in D.S.S. foster care a month ago because their mother lost her job and she became indigent.

The school system says they are conducting an internal investigation into whether proper procedures were followed. Superintendent Wiley Doby says the school's office has cards for each student with the names of people authorized to check them out. The person checking the student out is supposed to show ID which is then checked against the card.

Because Cruz only speaks Spanish, an interpreter had to be called. On the school's surveillance video, Cruz is seen talking to office staff, an interpreter is called in and then the children leave with their mom. It does not appear the mother showed any identification. It is also unclear whether the mother's name was still on the check out card, and if so, why hadn't it been removed.

If anyone has seen the children or their mother they should call the Duplin County Sheriff's Office at 910- 296-2150.

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  • by Anonymous Location: Kenansville on Oct 6, 2009 at 07:28 PM
    To Works in a school: the mother's name was never on the card b/c she did not register the kids at this school. They went in as foster children. The school DID NOT do their JOB.
  • by Works in a school on Oct 6, 2009 at 03:27 PM
    If the school wasn't notified that the mother couldn't pick the kids up, how in the world would they have known NOT to allow her to do so? How long before this happened did DSS take the kids? The day before? The morning of? The week before? There needs to be communication between agencies for something like this not to happen. I don't know any part of the story other than what WITN has been reporting, but after working in a school, there's no way the office staff would have allowed this to happen IF THEY KNEW ABOUT IT.
  • by AnonymousD Location: IBX on Oct 6, 2009 at 10:15 AM
    Although it's policy in Beaufort Co. Schools to check for ID before picking up a chid--I've never been asked to show ID.
  • by Jeff Location: Winterville on Oct 6, 2009 at 07:42 AM
    If the kids weren't in any danger, the DSS shouldn't have stepped in. You would need to have a very strong case to convince me that these children should be torn apart from their mother because she is an unemployed illegal immigrant. I'm surprised to see the racists in here. Give the woman a break. She only checked her kids out of school because the system failed her. What mother wouldn't do what she did?
  • by steve Location: fountain on Oct 6, 2009 at 07:37 AM
    What's up with the amber alert? Last week we had a white man who kidnapped his biological girls (one that was about to deliver a child. 12 yrs. old i think) and they did the amber alert thing. Just wandering is there a double standard here?
  • by Coach M Location: Rocky Mount on Oct 6, 2009 at 02:47 AM
    To 'FED UP": You mean kind of like the rest of us. Shouldn't even be here. The white man came and took the land from Native American's. The Black man was brought here by force. It trips me out when people talk about 'illigals.'
  • by Fed Up with Illegals Location: Kinston on Oct 5, 2009 at 10:01 PM
    To Wanda: What part of "illegal" do you not understand? She is here in violation of our laws. She has no business being here. She shouldn't of been hired to begin with. Whoever employed her was breaking the law as well. How can she sue DSS with her illegal status? DSS is not suppose to support her. They did the right thing by taking the children and putting them in foster care. Illegals are going to have to learn they can't keep having children they cannot feed. To say it's a cultural thing or it's against their religion to use birth control is irresponsible and foolish. This woman's children are having to suffer because of the bad choices she made. Having children does not excuse her crime. If her family was torn apart, it was her own fault for being on the wrong side of the law. Sorry, that's just the way it is. It's why we have laws in the first place. I'm all out of compassion for illegals and their dilemmas. I hope she is deported as soon as she is found. Her children can go too.
  • by Parent Location: NC on Oct 5, 2009 at 05:19 PM
    Mr. Braswell to me it looks like the school didn't do their job. Once them kids where placed in foster care DSS notified the school, from their it’s the schools responsibility to take the mother off. If she is off the list she done some good talking with that school official. I pray they find these children and bring them back to their foster families.
  • by PUREBREAD on Oct 5, 2009 at 05:02 PM
    I can understand taking up for the kids they dont know any better.These illegal immigrants know how to play the system.It is called ANCHOR BABY! An Immigrant can come over here and make a baby and if that baby is born in the USA the baby is an american citizen in turn gives the parents citizenship.AKA ANCHOR BABY!I personally hope that she took the children back where she and the father came from.The police and or government should not even be concerned about this situation unless they think she is going to stay in the USA.BYE BYE NOT AMERICAN PIE!
  • by Brian Braswell Location: Kenansville on Oct 5, 2009 at 04:19 PM
    In my opinion it is a clear fact that DSS did NOT do their job. DSS left an open door for the Children to be taken by not following ALL the proper actions of protection for the two kids. The school should have been a main priority of protection. The schools and DSS should learn from this Major mistake and work more closer together. Action should be taken agaist the DSS employees for not removing the Mothers name at the school and a report of action released to the public in this matter.
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