Three Milwaukee children who police feared were in danger after they were taken by their mother Sunday night were found safe Monday afternoon in Kenosha County. The Wisconsin State Patrol pulled over a car driven by 34 year-old Lavatta Smith at about 4:25 PM on northbound I-94. Her three children, 9 year-old Javious Thicklen and his sisters, 7-year-old Jaleiah Thicklen and 4-year-old Katera Thicklen, were inside the car.
The Milwaukee Police Department had requested the state Department of Justice issue an Amber Alert earlier Monday in their search for the three children. The State Patrol stopped Smith’s car after a motorist spotted the vehicle and called 911. MPD learned the children were missing while investigating a garage fire Sunday evening at their home. Police Chief Ed Flynn said during a press conference Monday that officers found the home to be uninhabitable, without food or clothing. Family members told officers that Smith may be mentally ill, Flynn said, leading to the concerns on the part of police.