ATLANTA (AP) — Police said two young boys from Georgia who were reported missing this week were found safe in Texas on Saturday and their father is in custody and facing charges.
Brothers Ben and Henry Cleary — ages 9 and 7 — were visiting with their father, Daniel Cleary, of Roswell, and were supposed to return home Wednesday. An Amber Alert was issued Thursday.
Roswell Police Lt. James H. McGee said that the 46-year-old Daniel Cleary was taken into custody Saturday evening in Austin, Texas.
"We have recovered the kids," McGee told The Associated Press. "They were with him and they were OK."
Austin police said a citizen had recognized the boys from the alert and notified police at 5:11 p.m. CDT that they were at a hotel.
Officers "observed the suspect and the two boys, and recovered the two boys and took the suspect into custody," Austin police Lt. James Nisula.
The children's mother, Theresa Nash, spoke to the boys by phone and was on the way to get them.
She told FOX 5 Atlanta they were "battling each other on their IPads and planning Henry's birthday party."
Nash had told WGCL-TV in Atlanta she was concerned because Daniel Cleary had purchased a firearm about a month ago, was under stress and drinking.
Police said they did not know if Daniel Cleary was in possession of a firearm when he was taken into custody.
McGee said authorities will arrange for Daniel Cleary's extradition to Georgia. He faces a charge of interstate interference with custody, a felony. McGee said police will discuss with prosecutors whether other charges will be brought.
Police on Friday had released surveillance footage showing the two missing boys at a Walmart in Tennessee on Dec. 23 and 24 with their father. Though initial reports were that the Walmart was in Jackson, McGee said it was in fact in Chattanooga.