UPDATE: 2 missing Missouri kids found safe

Thursday, June 13, 2013 | 9:50 a.m. CDT; updated 5:34 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 13, 2013

ST. CLAIR — Two children reported missing overnight in eastern Missouri have been found safe, authorities said Thursday.

Scotty Warner, 11, and Erica Linsley, 13, were found Thursday morning, Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said. The two children had been missing since Wednesday night when they were last seen playing outside one of the children's home near the Meramec River in St. Clair.

The two children, who are neighbors, were not injured.

Emergency crews had searched for the pair since midnight with dogs, helicopters and boats. Authorities were concerned because the children's homes are near the Meramec River and a heavily wooded area that includes caves and abandoned mines shafts.

The boy walked into his yard about 9:30 a.m. and led authorities to a nearby field where he thought the girl would be, Toelke said. She wasn't there, but searchers found her hiding under a porch not far from her home. Toelke said the boy told authorities the girl had a fight with her sister the night before.

"She was hiding," Toelke said. "She's afraid of everything that's going on."

Toelke said he didn't know if the children would face any discipline, but that he was relieved they had been found safe.

"Any time you have children missing like that, definitely it's a relief when you find them," Toelke said.

St. Clair is a town of about 4,800 residents about 45 miles southwest of St. Louis.

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