Family safe, whereabouts not known

Published 6:00 am Friday, March 1, 2002

A huge sigh of relief was let out across Brookhaven Thursdaywhen news came that a missing dad and his four children weresafe.

Earl “Mutt” Wallace Jr., 38, called his sister after almost aweek of no contact and let her know he and and the children –Garrett, Hunter, Abbey and Kitty Claire — were safe, familymembers reported.

Although he did not reveal his location or intentions, justknowing the children were not harmed was a big relief for thefamily.

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“We know the children are fine and they’ll come home. We justhope it isn’t a long time,” said the children’s grandmother, JoyceLinkey.

Mutt Wallace picked up his children from their mother Kristin’shouse last Friday for his weekend visitation, but did not returnthem Sunday as ordered by the court.

“He was seen at Wal-Mart in Brookhaven that Friday by himselfand buying toys,” said Linkey.

Wallace was also spotted at a mall in Jackson Saturday with thechildren, said Lincoln County Sheriff Lynn Boyte.

Law enforcement officers and family members had not received anyinformation since then. Law enforcement efforts to find theWallaces have been stepped up following the recent contact.

A warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was issuedFriday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according toJeffrey Artis, a media relations officer with the FBI inJackson.

The FBI has been involved in the investigation since Wednesday.The FBI often gets involved in cases where there is a possibilitythat suspects have left their home state.

“We are assisting with the local law enforcement in thiseffort,” said Artis.

Family members are asking for the help of local residents tofind the children and their father.

They are asking people to e-mail flyers to family and friendsaround the country, so they may put them up in stores and otherpublic areas in their towns and cities. Anyone wishing to obtain aflyer may pick one up at the home of Kristin Wallace on SecondStreet.

“If they’ll just stop at the curb and honk the horn, I’ll run aflyer out to them,” said Linkey, who is staying with herdaughter.

The FBI has informed the family that getting their pictures andinformation out by e-mail could be very helpful in locating theWallaces.

“(Kristin’s) brothers and sisters and family members and friendsare doing everything they can to get these flyers out. We’re usingevery avenue,” said Linkey.

Anyone with information about the Wallaces’ whereabouts shouldcontact the FBI at (601) 684-2500 or the Lincoln County Sheriff’sDepartment at (601) 833-5231.