Missing Florida children found in east Alabama

Eufaula, Alabama —  Four kids from Florida were found safe in east Alabama after an amber alert was issued on Sept. 15.

The children’s mother took them from their grandmother’s home in Bradenton, Fl. The mother had a criminal background and did not have custody of the children.

They were found safe at a hotel in Eufaula Thursday night thanks to one hotel guest.

A vacation to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida for five women took a strange and fateful detour when Terry Sandefur went to Facebook hours after seeing two kids in the lobby.

“As soon as I saw the pictures I was like ‘These two little girls were down in the lobby earlier,'” Sandefur said.

The first story on her feed was from a CBS affiliate in Macon, Ga. It showed an amber alert for four missing children taken by their mother.

After talking to her three sisters and cousin, Sandefur decided to call Eufaula police.

“I swear this woman and two of the kids or three of the kids were down in the lobby when I checked in at 7:30 this evening,” Sandefur told the 911 operator.

Sandefur told News 3 something just didn’t seem right and she wasn’t the only one who noticed.

“Well their mom was never with them the whole time they kept coming down here. I don’t know it just struck me odd,” Hampton Inn front desk clerk Jazzlyn Purswell said.

Purswell and Sandefur had the right hunch because the mother, Jamia Gadeaun, was wanted for aggravated assault in Manatee County, Fl, which led officers to believe the kids were in danger.

“I can’t emphasize enough how much we appreciate what she did,” Eufaula Police Chief Steve Watkins said.

Chief Watkins told News 3 this was the first time an amber alert has ever ended in the city.

“It makes us feel good that for one moment maybe we made a difference in these four childrens’ lives,” he said.

The children are in Eufaula foster care waiting to go back home, all thanks to the actions of one good samaritan from Perry, Ga.

“I’m just glad the kids are safe,” Sandefur said. “The white knuckle warriors will ride on to Santa Rosa Beach and finish our trip.”


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