ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — It’s been 10 days since Joshua, 15; Jacob, 12; and Amber Harmon, 8, were reported missing from Carter County.
Investigators now believe that the missing children may be in Watauga County or Avery County, North Carolina.
“There had been several reports that the children were missing school when they went out to check on the children, they were living in a hotel room and it was judged to be a bad situation,” said Carter County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy James Parrish.
The siblings are from neighboring Johnson County and are enrolled in the school system there according to Elementary Supervisor Angie Wills.
“They were removed from the family’s custody and taken to a home here in Carter County for safekeeping,” Parrish explained.
The children were living with their grandmother before being taken to the foster home on Feb. 18. Parrish says they were only at the home for a few hours before running away.
“It doesn’t meet the criteria for an AMBER alert because we do not believe it to be an abduction,” Parrish said. We are using the TBI and all available resources to get the information out to the public,” Parrish said. “The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Carter County Sheriff’s Office, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the Avery County Sheriff’s Office are all working on this case.”
Parrish says the Harmon children’s situation does not meet the criteria for an Endangered Child Alert either.
Authorities say they could be traveling in an “older silver Subaru” and they received enough information to search a family member’s home in North Carolina.
“There was a search warrant conducted in Avery County on Friday looking for the children at a family’s residence. It was not successful,” Parrish said.
Law enforcement has only received a few tips but not much credible information on the whereabouts of the siblings.
Jacob was last seen wearing camouflage pants and a black jacket, Joshua was wearing a gray t-shirt, and Amber was wearing pink pajamas according to the department.
“The children were removed from an unfortunate situation. They are likely still in an unfortunate situation,” Parrish said. “We would like to bring the children back into state custody.”
Anyone with information on their location is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 423-542-1845.