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UPDATE: Abducted Lake City children found safe, parents in custody

David Evans and Sydni Jones are each facing two charges of kidnapping a minor under 13.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. — UPDATE:  Two young children are safe after deputies say their biological parents who don’t have custody of the children kidnapped them.

Lucy and Jaxon Evans were found at a motel in Suwannee County, Florida Thursday afternoon.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson says their biological parents took them from their grandmother’s home in Lake City Wednesday night.

The spokesperson says their grandmother has custody of them.

Officers said both David Evans and Sydni Jones were taken into custody.

“We are very grateful for the outcome of this case,” stated Sheriff Mark Hunter. “I would like to commend our team of detectives, along with the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office, FDLE, federal law enforcement partners, and local community for helping to bring this case to a quick and safe conclusion.”

Dustin Clesi, owner of Steamboat Dive Inn told First Coast News that Evans checked in early Wednesday evening and booked a room for two nights.

Around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, police responded to the hotel after receiving a tip that the missing kids were staying in a room there.

Clesi said he helped police get the kids by going to the room and telling Evans and Jones that he was there for a routine maintenance call.

After getting inside the room, he was able to identify the parents and kids from the Amber Alert and left to inform police.

Clesi then came back with the breaching team outside, however, they refused to open the door that time.

Clesi opened the room using the master key and police were able to walk in and get the kids.

He said the parents seemed surprised and police immediately took them into custody.

Fortunately, the kids were calm and ok, Clesi said. The Florida Department of Children and Families responded to the hotel and took the kids.

Both Evans and Jones have been booked in the Suwanee County jail and are each facing two charges of kidnapping a minor under 13-years-old being held on a $300,000 bond.   

Credit: Columbia County
Credit: Columbia County

BACKGROUND:

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office issued an AMBER Alert for two children believed to have been abducted by their parents.

The sheriff's office identified the children as 4-year-old Jaxson Evans and 2-year-old Lucy Evans. They are believed to be with their parents: 24-year-old David Evans and 23-year-old Sydni Jones, according to the sheriff's office.

RELATED: Father believed to have abducted children in Florida AMBER Alert has history of domestic violence charges

  • Jaxson is 3'4'' and 50 lbs with blonde hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing an orange t-shirt.
  • Lucy is 3'0'' and 30 lbs with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a black t-shirt.
  • David Evans is 5'11'' and 160 lbs with sandy hair and brown eyes. He also has a blonde goatee. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt with tan pants.
  • Sydni Jones is 4'11'' and 110 lbs with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a black shirt with denim pants.

Evans and Jones abducted the children at about 5:15 p.m. from the home in of a person that had custody of the children, the sheriff's office said. The home is in the 200 block of Southwest Birch Place in Lake City. No one was hurt in the abduction, the sheriff's office said.

Jones was living in the same house but was not supposed to have unsupervised guardianship over the children.

Both suspects have warrants for their arrest. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at 386-752-7015.  

Credit: Columbia County Sheriff's Office
David Evans
Credit: Columbia County Sheriff's Office
Sydni Jones
Credit: Columbia County Sheriff's Office
Lucy and Jaxon Evans