Three children missing in Melbourne overnight have been found by a television reporter on his way to work.
Jai, Beau and Chase Masters – aged nine, 10 and 12 – went missing from their home in Mornington, south-east of Melbourne, on Sunday night.
The Channel Seven News reporter Dean Felton found the siblings in South Melbourne, more than 60km from their home, while he was “simply driving to work as normal”.
Felton told local Melbourne radio station 3AW that he had spied the missing boys as he was stopped in traffic, after hearing about them on the station’s 9am news bulletin.
“To my surprise, I noticed three boys, about the right age, just standing on the traffic island,” he said. “One was eating from a packet of Jatz, and I thought, ‘Well, that doesn’t look right.’”
He stopped his car and spoke to them. “They denied everything, ‘That’s not us, it must be someone different.’ But it didn’t quite ring true, so I stayed with them.”
The boys said they had arranged to meet their parents but were “fairly nervous at being approached and pretty cagey”. They then told Felton that they had hitched a ride to Melbourne with a stranger and had spent the night at a friend’s house.
“But they weren’t any more forthcoming than that … Once they cracked under questioning, that was when I called the police.”
Felton gave his phone to one of the boys to call their father.
Senior Constable Paul Turner of Victoria police said the children had been found “safe and well” at South Wharf at 10am and polices were making inquiries regarding their return home. The boys are understood to have left their home of their own accord but the circumstances surrounding their departure are not known.
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