Update: The three children and the non-custodial mother have been located in Cordova and are safe.
Alaska State Troopers report that three children were taken from a foster care home in Seward on Tuesday. Slate Erickson, age 4, Jedidiah “Fox” Erickson, age 7, and Pepper Erickson, age 9 were taken from the foster care home by a woman claiming to be sent to pick up the children by the Office of Children Services, according to a press release from the agency.
Troopers say the woman provided a name that the foster parents recognized as someone who they anticipated may be taking possession of the children. The foster parents had never met the woman.
In an online release, troopers say they were asked to do a welfare check on the children Tuesday evening. The children were not at the foster home at the time and troopers learned a woman appeared at the foster home where the children were staying on Monday at approximately 11:30 p.m. The foster parents allowed the children to leave with the female.
On Wednesday, troopers made the determination that the children had been “wrongfully removed” from the foster parents.
During the investigation troopers showed the foster parents a photo of the person the individual claimed to be, and the foster parents indicated that it was not the person who picked up the children.
Troopers also determined that the children’s mother, 40-year-old Melissa Salgado, who is a resident of Seward is also missing. A spokesperson for the troopers said the foster parents indicated that Salgado was not the woman who picked up the children.
In a missing persons poster released, troopers say the children may be with Salgado, who is a non-custodial parent.
The children are believed to be somewhere on the road system. Anyone with any information regarding the location of Salgado or the Erickson children are asked to contact the Alaska State Troopers in Soldotna at (907) 262-4453 or contact 911 if you see the children or Salgado.
An Amber alert has not been issued for the missing children because the case does not meet the criteria for issuing an alert said Megan Peters with the public information office for the troopers.
“Amber alerts have very specific criteria,” she said.
According to the guidelines for Amber alerts, the child must be “at risk for serious bodily harm or death.”
When asked about the time passing between the determination that the children were missing and notification to the public, Peters said there were “investigative processes” that had to be completed.