Missing Missoula Children Taken by Non-Custodial Mother
Yesterday, July 31, the Montana Department of Justice issued a missing and endangered children alert for a 6-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl authorities say were taken from Missoula. Public information officer for the Missoula Police Department, Detective Sgt. Travis welsh says the mother and children are still missing after a judge awarded custody to the father.
"A district court judge has awarded custody of the two small children to their father," Welsh said. "Their mother currently has physical custody and she has not turned the children over to their father as ordered by the court."
The alert says the children's 30-year-old mother, who does not have custody of the children, took Kyus and Ashlyn Swanson on Tuesday. Authorities identified the mother as Fawn Phifer and not that she has had a history of drug abuse and is suspected of child neglect. She is 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds and has red hair and brown eyes. Kyus has blonde hair and brown eyes and may be missing some front teeth. Ashyln has red hair and brown eyes. Welsh says the whereabouts of the mother are still a mystery.
"She apparently has gone into hiding, at least in some capacity, and is not responding to phone calls and text messages asking her to at least let someone know where she is at and if the kids are ok," Welsh said.
Anybody with information on their whereabouts are asked to call the Missoula police department at 406-552-6291.