3 small children reported missing in rural South Carolina found safe

SMOAKS, S.C. (AP) — About 40 law deputies and other law enforcement officers were searching through heavily thicketed bottomland and swamps in rural South Carolina for three young children reported missing after playing outside in their yard.

The children were reportedly found.

Lt. Shane Roberts of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Department says the children — ages 2, 3, and 4 — were reported missing about 6 p.m. Wednesday. They had been had been outside in their yard before family members noticed they were gone.

Family and neighbors searched for about 20 minutes before calling 911. The search continued until about 2 a.m. Thursday and then resumed about five hours later.

The youngsters disappeared from a hamlet of small homes and mobile homes down a dirt road near the community of Smoaks, just off Interstate 95 about 60 miles northwest of Charleston. Deep swamps and woodlands line both sides of the road.

The missing youngsters were identified as Mya and Shamyra Campbell, ages 4 and 2 respectively, and Eugene McTeer, their 3-year-old cousin.

An airplane and helicopter have been used in the search, and Wildlife Department workers could be seen riding all-terrain vehicles along a road Thursday morning. The media was being kept about a mile from the cluster of homes near a sheriff’s department command post.

Some relatives have told local media they were concerned the youngsters might have been abducted.

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