Two children abducted from New Hanover Co. found at shelter in California

Two children abducted from New Hanover Co. found at shelter in California

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Two children who were reported missing last week were found Thursday at a shelter in Bakersfield, California.

New Hanover County Sheriff's Detectives responded to the 6400 block of Kirkwood Drive on March 3 in reference to two missing children.

When detectives arrived, Noel Amundsen, father of 5-year-old and 2-year-old boys, told detectives that he wanted to report his two sons missing.

Noel told detectives that there had been an on-going custody dispute between him and the boy's mother, Melissa Amundsen.

Melissa was given a custody hearing on Feb. 21 and on the same day she went before a Brunswick County judge and had a domestic violence order issued against Noel.

The Sheriff's Office Civil Deputies on Feb. 22 removed the children from Noel's custody due to the domestic violence order.

Both children were then given to Melissa. On the week of Feb. 29, there was a hearing for the domestic violence order in Brunswick County and both Melissa and the children did not show.

The order was dismissed and attempts were made to locate the children because of the previous custody order still being valid.

An arrest warrant was issued for Melissa for two counts of child abduction. Detectives learned that Melissa was in the Bakersfield or California City, California areas.

Calls to both law enforcement agencies were made and on March 10, Melissa, both boys and Melissa's 9-year-old daughter were located at a shelter in Bakersfield.

Melissa was registered under a false name and was taken into custody and is currently in the Kern County Jail awaiting extradition to North Carolina.

The children were taken to an emergency shelter/foster care facility for children in Bakersfield.

Officials say Noel is enroute to pick up the children.

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