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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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