Three children are back home with their parents after they slipped out of the family's home after going to bed late Thursday night and were found by an Oregon State Police sergeant walking in the dark along Highway 97 south of Terrebonne.
With "Missing Children's Awareness Day" approaching on May 25, OSP encourages families to take time to talk to their children about safety and abduction prevention as part of the Take 25 (www.Take25.org) national child safety campaign.
Just before 11:30 p.m., Deschutes County 911 notified OSP Northern Command Center dispatch of a report about three children under age 10 walking in the dark southbound along Highway 97 near a convenience store in Terrebonne.
About 10 minutes later, an OSP sergeant driving north from Redmond found the children (a boy, age 10, and two girls, ages 8 and 7) walking along the southbound shoulder in the dark south of Terrebonne near milepost 117.
The children were in their pajamas and carrying backpacks, and one child was holding two teddy bears and another was carrying a blanket.
The children said they left their house without telling their parents and were walking to a Dollar Tree store in Redmond.
They also said an unidentified person in a car stopped before OSP arrived, but they refused to get in the car, which drove off without staying with the children.
The kids took a ride in the OSP patrol car back to their home about a mile from where they were found.
When contacted and told their children were outside in the patrol car, the parents initially were in disbelief because they last saw the kids in their bedrooms before going to bed.
Following a brief meeting with the family, the children were released to their relieved parents.
OSP joins the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children encouraging families to talk about safety as part of the Take 25 national child safety campaign. A discussion guide to help start the conversation is available on the Take 25 website at http://www.take25.org/StartTheConversation.
Governor John Kitzhaber has joined child safety advocates around the country by signing a proclamation announcing May 25th as "Missing Children's Awareness Day" in Oregon.
More information is available in a news release issued earlier this week and now posted on OSP's website at:
Names related to this incident are not being released. OSP hopes this incident will help provide an opportunity to talk to your children about safety.