Disabled Woman, Kids Found Safe in Sylmar

The trio, who are not related, went out Saturday night to go to a fast food restaurant and didn't return

By Jason Kandel, Angie Crouch, Rosa Ordaz and Ted Chen
|  Monday, Jun 11, 2012  |  Updated 6:21 PM PDT
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Sarah White, 8, says she told 25-year-old Marie Williams, a mentally disabled woman, that she and 6-year-old Nicholas Sanders wanted to go home after they became lost after going on a walk Saturday, June 9. The trio was found Monday. Family members say they were scared, but appreciate that Williams took care of the kids. Ted Chen reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 4:30 p.m. on June 11, 2012.

Ted Chen

Sarah White, 8, says she told 25-year-old Marie Williams, a mentally disabled woman, that she and 6-year-old Nicholas Sanders wanted to go home after they became lost after going on a walk Saturday, June 9. The trio was found Monday. Family members say they were scared, but appreciate that Williams took care of the kids. Ted Chen reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 4:30 p.m. on June 11, 2012.

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Mentally Disabled Woman and Two Kids Missing

Concerns are growing in Long Beach, where a young mentally disabled woman and two kids are missing. They left an apartment complex Saturday evening to walk to a fast food restaurant and never came back. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on June 10, 2012.
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Long Beach police on Monday confirmed that two children and a mentally disabled woman have been found at a Metrolink station in Sylmar.

The emotional reunion on Monday included aunts, cousins, grandmothers and lots of tears.

"I'm happy. I'm happy. My baby's home, I'm happy," said Alshanika Franklin, Sarah White's mother.

The woman and three children were spotted Monday morning by a special education teacher at a metrolink station in Sylmar.

"She then called the LAPD, up in Mission Hills area, LAPD responded and took the three into custody, the woman stayed around until that occurred," said Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell.

"Me and Nicholas telled her we want to go home. She said she doesn't have money to," said
Sarah White

The trio had been missing since Saturday at 11:20 p.m., when Long Beach Police responded to an apartment complex at Santa Fe Avenue and Spring Street.

The woman, who police said has the maturity level of an 8-year-old, and the two children, had been missing for several hours, police said.

The children -- an 8-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy -- left the complex with the woman with permission at 4:45 p.m. to walk to a fast food restaurant down the street, police said.

Police said the trio arrived at the restaurant at closing time and were turned away.

The trio were identified as Marie Williams, 25, Sarah White, 8, and Nicholas Sanders, 6.

Williams has been living at the complex with a counsin for the last two weeks while the family finds her a new group home.

She has been to numerous group homes in the past, but she has wandered away from them, family members said.

Williams has her own 1-year-old child, who is in foster care.

Before she went missing, White was in Long Beach with her mother visiting friends who reside at the same complex as Williams. Family were worried because she has food allergies and asthma.

Sanders and his family also live at the complex.

The family searched the area unsuccessfully before calling police. There have been numerous sightings of the trio. Williams is not considered dangerous.

"She's just someone that wasn't in the right state of mind. I'm grateful that she took care of the children. That was my concern," said Altheria Blalock.

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