MSHP: Amber Alert canceled for two missing children

Amber Alert McDonald County
Hilda Melendez.jpg
Posted at 1:26 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 02:50:37-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — UPDATE, 1:45 a.m. Friday | The two children who were the focus of an Amber Alert that originated Thursday morning in southwest Missouri have been found safe in Miami, Oklahoma. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the suspect is in custody.

UPDATE, 8:28 p.m. Thursday | The second vehicle sought in connection with an Amber Alert that originated Thursday morning in southwest Missouri has been found in Oklahoma.

The missing children and their alleged non-custodial abductor are believed to be on foot in the Tulsa area, according to the latest update from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

UPDATE, 5:30 p.m. Thursday | The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Hilda Melendez's mother, who authorities earlier said might be in the vehicle with Melendez and the children, was located with the Ford Flex in Stroud, Oklahoma.

Melendez and the two children are now believed to be in a different vehicle, a cream-colored Kia Soul with an unknown Oklahoma registration.

ORIGINAL | An Amber Alert was issued Thursday afternoon for two children last seen in southwest Missouri who may be in danger, according to authorities.

Genesis Padron, 8, and Samuel Padron, 4, were abducted shortly before 9 a.m. in Southwest City in McDonald County, according to an Amber Alert sent by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The two children were believed to be with 35-year-old Hilda Melendez, a woman with brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds.

Hilda Melendez.jpg
Hilda Melendez is suspected of kidnapping two children at the center of an Amber Alert in southwest Missouri on July 9, 2020.

The suspect, a non-custodial parent, allegedly assaulted a woman who was watching the children and took them from a residence, according to the alert.

They were believed to be traveling in a red 2009 Ford Flex with Missouri license plate number RA1J1L. The vehicle could also be occupied by Melendez's mother, Betty.

It was unknown in what direction the vehicle was traveling, but authorities said it was possible they were on their way to Mexico.

Recent statements indicated the children were in danger, according to authorities.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts or who has seen the vehicle should call 911 or the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office at 417-223-4318.