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Hunt for missing kids seen in Melbourne, Florida ends in California

11:32 AM, Dec 5, 2012   |    comments
  • Trieu "Kiah" Co Firth, 2, and Chieu "Kristin" Quan Firth, 4, and their parents, James and Mai Firth, were found late Tuesday. No information on how or who found them was released.
  • Trieu "Kiah" Co Firth, 2, and Chieu "Kristin" Quan Firth, 4, and their parents, James and Mai Firth, were found late Tuesday. No information on how or who found them was released.
    
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Melbourne, FL (Florida Today) -- Two girls considered missing and endangered after their parents made threats of a "suicide pact" have been safely found in California, officials said.

Trieu "Kiah" Co Firth, 2, and Chieu "Kristin" Quan Firth, 4, and their parents, James and Mai Firth, were found late Tuesday. No information on how or who found them was released.

On Friday, police began notifying law enforcement nationwide that the family was missing. They were last seen Thursday at The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Institute of Technology, where they were seeking treatment for one of the girls.

A staffer there called officials reporting the parents made threats to kill themselves and their children if they couldn't afford treatment, or if treatment became too expensive.

Officials previously said it was not a criminal investigation and that the family may have been headed to California to fly back to their home in Vietnam. No information on the parents, who were also found Tuesday, has yet been released.

Florida Department of Children and Families officials said the children were found safe and are with social workers in California. Child protection officials will go there, traveling more than 2,300 miles, to pick up the children in the next several days.

The girls will be placed in protective custody of the state pending an emergency custody hearing, pursuant to a judge's "take into custody" order that was issued early this week. DCF officials now say the family fled during an "active child abuse" investigation.

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