Authorities are searching for two young brothers who have been missing from their home in Maine, and suspect they may have been taken out of state by their father, in violation of a custody agreement.
As reported by the Charlotte Observer, the Presque Isle Police Department wrote in a Facebook post that authorities believed the boys had been taken out of state “against their will.”
Presque Isle Police Detective Chris Beck told local news outlet The County that authorities had begun investigating the disappearance of brothers Joel Strother, 12, and Carter Strother, 10, “a few weeks ago,” and said the boys’ father Joel Strother appears to be involved.
“He has basically hidden the children. There has been no communication from Mr. Strothers or from the two children to their mother,” Beck told The County, adding that Strother violated a custody agreement, though he did not elaborate further on the terms of custody.
The detective said the investigators believed initially that the boys may still be in the Presque Isle area, where their mother lives, but now believe they are with relatives connected to Strother in the south.
“We have now reached a point where we strongly believe the children are either in North Carolina or South Carolina,” Beck told the news outlet.
Authorities reportedly believe the boys could be with their father, Kimberly McLeod (aka Kimberly Strother), an aunt; Christopher McLeod, an uncle; or Matthew McLeod, whose relation is not known.
Both boys are white with brown hair. Carter is described in the missing persons post on the Presque Isle Police Department’s Facebook page as 4 feet 6 inches tall, 100 pounds, with brown eyes. Joel is about 5 feet tall, 90 pounds, with green eyes.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Presque Isle Police Department at (207) 764-4476.