Police have warrant for mother of 2 missing children

Local

UPDATE at 9:35 p.m.: The children have been located safely in Florida.


GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Police looking for two missing children have issued an arrest warrant for their mother.

State police have charged 26-year-old Lacey Kelly, of Gettysburg, with interfering with the custody of a child and concealing the whereabouts of a child.

Police believe Kelly is with the missing children and her boyfriend, 28-year-old Damien Highlander. They said she is likely driving a black 2004 Pontiac Vibe with a Pennsylvania license plate of KVG-4958, police said.

Lacey Kelly and Damien Highlander

The children are 2-year-old Lilyen Vanmetre and 4-year-old Jayden Vanmetre.

According to a criminal complaint, the children are in the physical and legal custody of Adams County Children and Youth Services but live with someone else.

That person told police that Kelly picked up the children for visitation on Sunday and did not return, did not answer her phone, and was not at her home. Her cell phone, and Highlander’s, were left at the home, the complaint states.

“They’re very young children, so they don’t know what’s going on around them. This is very important we get them back to the right parent,” said Trooper Megan Frazer, a state police spokesperson.

Police say they did not issue an Amber Alert because this case does not fit the criteria.

“If the child is believed to be in danger of serious bodily injury or death, then we will issue an Amber Alert, and this case is not meeting that criteria,” Frazer said.

Lilyen and Jayden Vanmetre

Neighbors are hoping for a safe return.

“My main concern is that the children are safe. I feel sorry for all the family involved. I can understand a mother wanting to be with her children, but the law is the law,” said Jean K., a neighbor.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the children or Kelly and Highlander should call Pennsylvania State Police in Gettysburg at 717-334-8111, or the Adams County Crimestoppers hotline at 717-334-8057.

Crimestoppers is offering a reward.

Tips can also be submitted at accrimestoppers.com.

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