Missing Locust Grove children returned to mother in a Lyft


Less than 24 hours after they were first reported missing, three Locust Grove children have been reunited with their mother.

“They were returned by a car service,” Locust Grove police Chief Jesse Patton told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Lyft was the transport service used.”

Natael Fernandez, 7, Mackenzie Middleton, 10, and Isabella Middleton, 11, were reported missing Tuesday afternoon after their mother’s boyfriend, Archie Sawoyea, picked them up from Locust Grove Elementary School.

RELATED: Warrants taken out for boyfriend who allegedly kidnapped 3 children

Sawoyea, 27, stopped communicating with the mother and authorities pleaded with the public to help them find him and the children.

Early Wednesday, Sawoyea began texting the mother to facilitate the children’s return, Patton told The AJC. The children were reunited with their mother about 7:15 a.m.

Patton did not say where the Lyft driver picked them up. However, the children did not appear to be harmed.

Police are still searching for Sawoyea, who is wanted on charges of kidnapping and domestic violence. According to Patton, Sawoyea was involved in a domestic dispute with the children’s mother earlier Tuesday.

Sawoyea was last seen driving a four-door 2015 Honda Accord with a white and blue “Test Drive” tag. He was believed to be headed toward Chamblee. 

Anyone with information on Sawoyea’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 or contact Locust Grove detectives at 770-957-7055.

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