Foster mother of missing 3 children believes they ranaway with p - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Foster mother of missing 3 children believes they ranaway with parent

Sarah Jones (middle), Sandra Bates (left), and Servario Bates (right) (Source: MPD) Sarah Jones (middle), Sandra Bates (left), and Servario Bates (right) (Source: MPD)

Memphis police officers are searching for three children that were reported missing early Tuesday morning. A woman who claimed to be the foster mother of the children believes they ran away to be with their mother who was recently released from jail.

Officers are searching the area near Sweet Gum Drive and Montreat Drive, which is off of Raleigh Lagrange Road.

Sarah Jones, Sandra Bates, and Servario Bates are siblings who were last seen at home around 10:15 p.m. Monday.

- Sarah Jones is 6 years old. She is about three feet tall and weighs about 50 pounds. She was last seen wearing black, white, and red pajamas.

- Sandra Bates is 9 years old. She is about 5'2" and weighs about 90 pounds. She was last seen wearing pink and white pajamas.

- Servario Bates is 12 years old. He is about 5'3".

The children went missing from their Memphis foster home. The foster mother said she does not fear for the children's safety.

Tennessee Department of Children's Services said they cannot comment on a specific case, however, they said people should remember children are placed in foster care because their parents neglected or abused them.

According to police, a family member heard a door open, close, and then discovered the children were missing.

"I'm shocked. Imagine my surprise when I wake up and turn on the news and see my neighborhood and see that kids are missing," neighbor Wendy Rankin said.

As the day continued with no sign of the children, the feeling of shock in the neighborhood did not fade. Neighbors became increasingly worried.

"Those are kids that can't think for themselves, who can't provide for themselves, who really are helpless out here in the world like this," Kelsey Gordon, neighbor, said.

Several neighbors said they saw the children happily playing this summer in their front yard.

"They play in and around the cove and ride their bikes up and down the street," Rankin said. "And stay in their front yard with their dog. Very nice and respectable kids."

"I understand they say a foster home, but if you're taking care of a child, you're a parent," Rankin said. "So, I don't want to say foster parents, please return them to their parents."

"If you're watching, please return them to their parents because it makes me uneasy and I'm hurting for the parents," Gordon said. "I'm hurting myself because those are kids and I don't like to hear that about kids period."

The police said an Amber Alert was not issued because the disappearance of the three children did not fit the criteria because investigators do not believe the children are in danger. They would not go into further detail about their reasons.

Anyone with information is asked to call Memphis Police Department at 901-545-COPS or Missing Persons at 901-636-4479.

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