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Kidnapped Texas children found in Ironton

Two preschool-aged sisters who were abducted from the Houston, Texas area earlier this week were found unharmed at an Ironton residence late last night and their mother was jailed on a kidnapping charge.

Ironton Police Capt. Chris Bowman said Meccinna Dufore, 28, is accused of taking her children, two-year-old Caydence Gonzales and three-year-old Isabel Martinez, from an aunt’s home in Humble, Texas Monday. Dufore’s parental rights had reportedly been terminated and the children had been living with a grandmother.

“They were in the court’s custody because of drug issues she had,” Bowman said.

Bowman said agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation alerted local authorities Tuesday evening the Dufore and the children may be in the area. The children were located at 10:30 p.m. Thursday at the home of Dufore’s mother, Jackie Dufore and placed in the care of Lawrence County Children’s Services pending their return to Houston. Bowman said in addition to the kidnapping charge, Mecinna Dufore was also arrested on an unrelated drug charge. She will appear next week in Ironton Municipal Court for an extradition hearing before Judge O. Clark Collins.

Bowman said it is unclear at this point why she took the children. The matter remains under investigation.

Ironton police, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office as well as the agents from the Cincinnati and Portsmouth FBI offices all participated in the investigation.