Local News

AMBER Alert Issued For Missing Chatham County Children

Posted October 3, 2003

— Volunteers have joined law officers in a search for two Chatham County children missing since Thursday afternoon. They hope the daylight can help after a night-time search turned up nothing.

The Department of Public Safety and Crime Control has issued an official


in an effort to help locate the children.

Pittsboro police Chief Jerry Clapp said 8 -year-old Preston Wilson and his 5-year-old sister. Kimberly Ellis, were last seen about 5 p.m. Thursday. Their mother was watching over them in the backyard.

The Pittsboro Police Department contacted the North Carolina Center For Missing Persons shortly after 8 a.m. Friday to request the AMBER Alert be broadcast. The alert was sent statewide at 9:33 a.m.

Citizens are asked to be on the lookout for Wilson, a white male, 4' tall, 49 pounds, short blond hair and blue eyes. His sister is 3'5" tall, 35 pounds, also with blond hair and blue eyes.

Wilson was last seen wearing a black "Stone Cold Austin" t-shirt and brown pants. He reportedly did not have shoes on.

Ellis was last seen wearing a long sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and Barbie tennis shoes that light up.

Police decided to ask for the AMBER Alert on the chance the children might have been abducted or are in danger of injury or death.

The alert also has been entered into the National Criminal Information Center and into the state DCI system for law enforcement.

Anyone with information should call the Pittsboro Police Department at


According to investigators, the two children often played in the woods behind their yard. But when their mother noticed they were not around Thursday evening, and they did not respond to her calls, she called police.

Law officers at the scene said there was no evidence to suggest the children were abducted. But they searched the immediate area and could not find the children, either.

Two dogs left with the children. But the dogs returned.

Police officers and firefighters have been scouring a wooded area near the intersection of U.S. Highways 64/15-501 looking for the children. The search force includes K-9 units from several counties and a Highway Patrol helicopter.

The helicopter searched for more than six hours Thursday night.

Authorities were hoping the children would emerge once they saw daylight or that they may have spent the night in a neighbor's home. The children were not wearing coats.

Two ambulances have been standing by at a convenience store near the children's home that has been set up as a command post in case the children come out of the woods. The children are expected to be very cold.


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