The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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November 28, 2012

Update: Deputies searching for missing woman, children

Woman left foster home with her two young children Tuesday

MANKATO — Blue Earth County sheriff's deputies are attempting to locate a 21-year-old woman who left a family foster care center Tuesday afternoon.

People running the foster care center called authorities to report Reina Marie Gandarilla had left the facility with her 2-year-old son, Issiah, and 4-month-old daughter, Iyanna. Gandarilla and her children had been living at the facility for about two weeks, said Capt. Rich Murry of the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Department.

"We don't believe the children are in any danger from her," Murry said.

Gandarilla did not have a vehicle, so deputies don't know at this point how she is traveling. Deputies have checked with Gandarilla's known acquaintances in the Mankato area and had some leads Wednesday morning, but nothing solid, Murry said. She is originally from the Chicago area, so authorities are checking to see if she has contact with family and friends there.

Blue Earth County had taken temporary custody of Gandarilla's children. She and the children were placed in the rural Blue Earth County foster care facility with the goal of having Gandarilla take custody of the children again.

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