Police Chief scolds officers after missing kids are found - FOX 35 News Orlando

Police Chief scolds officers after missing kids are found

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Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood is calling out his own officers after a big mix-up Tuesday involving two missing children who showed up in a place where officers had already searched once before.

"You can be rest assured that there will be paint peeling of the ceiling when we get back to headquarters," Chitwood said during a news conference after the children were found.

Chitwood didn't hold back his anger that it took officers almost two hours to find 3-year-old Carson Tucker and 4-year-old Dakota Leonard, when they were hiding just a few feet away in a car parked in the driveway of their home.

"You're taught in 'policing 101' when kids are missing, the first place you search, and you look top to bottom is the house and everything," he said.  "And there's 10 or 15 cars back there, we have more than enough man power not to be outsmarted by a 4 year old and 3 year old."

The two kids were reported missing from a Daytona Beach home by their parents around 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.  What ensued was a massive search, involving police helicopters and door-to-door searches.  The children were eventually discovered under the dashboard of a parked that was car had already been searched.

"Thank God they're okay, but it's the first place you look, because if you missed them, and they fell asleep up underneath that dashboard, they would have been dead," Chitwood said.

The children's parents said they saw the officers searching all the cars that were parked on their property. 

"That was an hour and 45 minutes, that was a long time for kids to be gone, and we looked everywhere, you seen how many police were there looking, they looked in that car three or four times," said Kim Leonard, the mother of the missing girl.

Officers said the parents stepped out on the porch for about 10 minutes, and when they came back inside the home, their daughter and grandson were gone.  Despite the prolonged search, they're just happy the kids are safe and sound.

There is no word yet on if any of the officers involved in the search will face an disciplinary action.

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