5 missing children from Rochester found alive; 2 suspects arrested
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) – Five missing children from Rochester were found at a home in Niagara Falls Wednesday, according to U.S. Marshals.
Mark Johnson and Ise-Lynn Johnson were arrested by U.S. Marshals in connection with the investigation. U.S. Marshals confirmed the two alleged abductors are parents of the victims. Mark Johnson is the father of three of the children. Ise-Lyn the mother of the other two.
U.S. Marshals said the five children - who range in age from 5 through 12 were reported missing August of 2016 by their grandmother, Rose Johnson.
Johnson tells 13WHAM News she is relieved the children were found and are okay. She tells us her son got mad at the mother of three of the children and, "took off."
"It was just very nerve-wracking trying to find them," Johnson said. "Just to make sure they are alright."
An extensive investigation was launched in the Rochester and Buffalo areas.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Task Force developed information that Mark and Ise-Lynn Johnson were staying at a home in the Niagara Falls area with the missing children.
Marshals executed a search warrant at the home and all five missing children were found at the home, along with Mark and Ise-Lynn Johnson. Investigators say the conditions inside the house were disgusting and dangerous.
Rose Johnson says it is out of the ordinary for her son to have his children live in deplorable conditions, but neighbors say they've had their suspicions.
"They would come in and out of the basement window," one neighbor said. "Then to find out they were missing kids, that's ridiculous."
Both suspects were wanted by the Rochester Police Department for endangering the welfare of a child.
Mark Johnson and Ise-Lynn Johnson were expected to post bail on Thursday, according to family members.
Rose Johnson said the children would be placed in foster care until the investigation is complete.
We also learned the children will be interviewed at the Bivona Child Advocacy Center to find out if there was any kind of abuse and to determine if other crimes occurred. They will also be given physical and mental examinations.
Executive Director Mary Whittier could not discuss specifics of this case but said, "It's just as important to determine that a crime didn't occur as it is to determine that one did."
She said 90 percent of children are abused by someone the know, love and trust and an investigation must be done to make sure they have a chance to share their story.
Whittier also said it's not unusual in cases where children are neglected to also find other issues have occurred.